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Santa Rosa Junior College Athletics

Bear Cubs Advance to Final Four

Bear Cubs Advance to Final Four

SRJC 65, Mt. San Antonio College 48

            In the quarterfinals of the CCCAA State Basketball Tournament the Big 8 Conference Champion Bear Cubs (28-2), seeded #2 from the North, were matched against the South's #3 seeded Mounties (23-7) of Mt. San Antonio College, the Champions of the South Coast-North Conference. The Bear Cubs scored the first 11 points of the contest—Ciarah Michalik's 10-foot up-and-under shot, one free throw by Ashleigh Barr, Lucca Lowenberg's 3-pointer, Barr's steal near the Mounties' free throw line and subsequent layup, and another Lowenberg 3-pointer—during the opening five minutes. Dailani Richardson's drive got the Mounties on the scoreboard with 4:10 on the clock. Sheriene Arikat drew a shooting foul and made both free throws. Then the Mounties tallied four more points on Richardson's basket and two free throws by Kamesha Moore. Lanie Lincoln's 3-pointer with 2:31 left made the Bear Cubs' lead 16-6. Briana Lizardi scored inside, and Arikat's layup ended the scoring in the quarter with the Bear Cubs ahead 18-8.

            The Mounties began the second quarter with an 8-0 run on three drives by Briana Lizardi and one by Kamesha Moore. The Bear Cubs answered with a 10-0 run comprised of Lanie Lincoln's 8-foot floater and two technical foul free throws, Ashleigh Barr's 12-footer, Sheriene Arikat's 3-footer and her 12-footer with 2:23 on the clock. Moore made another basket and Carley Bolden two free throws with 1:00 left. With five seconds remaining, the Bear Cubs inbounded the ball from the Mounties' baseline. Ciarah Michalik hurriedly drove the ball to their front court, passed to Rose Nevin at the top right corner of the key, and kept running towards the basket. Nevin quickly passed back to Michalik, who banked in the layup while getting fouled. She made the and-one free throw to give the Bear Cubs a 31-20 halftime lead.

            Kamesha Moore scored the first two points of the third quarter on a drive along the baseline. The Bear Cubs responded with 7 unanswered points on Ashleigh Barr's 21-footer, Lucca Lowenberg's 3-pointer, and Ciarah Michalik's full-court layup at the 7:23 mark after grabbing a Mounties' miss near their basket. During the next three-plus minutes 6'4" Endigo Parker made two out of four free throws and a 3-footer. Then the Bear Cubs added 8 more points on two free throws by Sheriene Arikat, and two consecutive 3-pointers by Lowenberg. Dailani Richardson was fouled on a shot next to the hoop with one second left and made both free throws, cutting her team's deficit to 28-46.

            Sheriene Arikat started the scoring in the fourth quarter on a cut to the hoop and assist pass from Meredith Gilbertson. Briana Lizardi made two baskets in a row before Arikat scored on a back cut and Lanie Lincoln's assist. Lizardi drew a shooting foul and sank both free throws. Nearly a minute later, with the Mounties employing a full-court press, Ciarah Michalik passed in from the baseline high over defenders to Ashleigh Barr in the front court, who made the layup. On their next possession Lucca Lowenberg swished her sixth 3-pointer and 39 seconds later dropped in a 10-footer. Elle Yick drained a 3-pointer and Kamesha Moore a 2-pointer with 4:27 on the clock. Meredith Gilbertson banked in a putback 26 seconds after that. Lanie Lincoln's 4-footer on a cut into the middle of the key and assist from Alex Ditizio, was followed by back-to-back baskets by Jamya Mickens and Kamesha Moore. With 1:47 left, Sheriene Arikat cut to the hoop, caught the pass from Meredith Gilbertson, and made the layup. Yick sank her second 3-pointer 21 seconds later. Lanie Lincoln's 3-point shot was blocked, but Sheriene Arikat caught the ball four feet from the basket and made the putback. Lizardi scored one more basket, as the Bear Cubs' 65-48 victory advances them to the State Semifinals.

            The Mounties had been averaging 68.5 points per game, but the Bear Cubs' defense held them to 48 points on 18 out of 57 shots (31.6%). They made 10 out of 18 (55.6%) from the free throw line and two 3-pointers. The Bear Cubs were successful on 25 out of 59 shots (42.4%), including 7 3-pointers, and 8 out of 9 free throws (88.9%). Two Mounties scored in double figures: Briana Lizardi (16) and Kamesha Moore (12).

            Lucca Lowenberg made 6 out of 9 from 3-point range and finished with 20 points. Sheriene Arikat sank 7 out of 10 from 2-point range plus 4 out of 4 from the free throw line to tie her season-high of 18 points. Lanie Lincoln and Ashleigh Barr each added 9 points, Ciarah Michalik 7, and Meredith Gilbertson 2. Ashleigh Barr and Meredith Gilbertson each grabbed 9 rebounds. Lanie Lincoln passed for 7 assists.