About midway through the fourth quarter of Saturday night’s main event at the MMC-CCC Girls Basketball Challenge, Buhach Colony guard Allison Wisdom got a tongue-lashing from her coach.
There’s two ways to respond when that happens. You can let it affect your game or you can rise to the challenge.
Wisdom rose up and scored 15 of her 22 points in the final 4 minutes, 17 seconds of regulation and overtime in leading the Thunder to a 52-47 victory over Gregori in the sixth and final game of the evening.
“Sometimes I struggle with letting my emotions affect my play,” said Wisdom. “Every time I’ve gotten mad this season and not responded well, we’ve lost.”
Wisdom departed the game briefly to get an earful from her coach. When she checked back into the game she began her flurry of points – scoring 15 of her team’s final 18.
“Allison Wisdom changed the outcome of this game in the last two, two and half minutes,” said BC coach Shane Gentry.
Wisdom’s 3-pointer with 34 seconds to play tied the game, and neither team could do anything with a pair of possessions in the final seconds.
Gregori struck quickly in the OT, scoring on a fast break off the tip-off, but a 3-pointer by Sylvia Alvarado and six free throws down the stretch from Wisdom put the game away.
Probably nobody was happier about Wisdom’s performance than Thunder senior guard Mary Castillo.
With 40 seconds remaining in overtime, and BC holding a two-point lead, a wide-open Castillo received a pass from a teammate and raced toward the hoop for an uncontested layup, which would’ve all but sealed the deal.
Castillo missed the bunny, however, but Wisdom bailed her out by hitting three out of four freebies over the next 28 seconds to ice.
“I knew I had to take my time because when I rush my layups they tend to bounce out,” said Castillo. “Once I missed it, I knew had to get that rebound.”
She did, and then got the ball into Wisdom’s hands.
“When she was stepping up to the line I was just thinking, ‘Oh, please make it.’ ”
Melina Bobadilla led the Jaguars with 15 points while 6-3 Emilee VanDyke, who a tough matchup for the 5-9 Taj Seals down low, added 13.
“VanDyke caused us a lot of problems,” said Gentry. “We could’ve dumped it, but we kept playing hard, maintained our poise and kept fighting. And that was enough to do it.”
For the third consecutive season, the conferences split the six games. In the four-year history of the event, the CCC holds a 13-11 advantage.
• ENOCHS 60, MERCED 38 – Jeana Viss scored a team-high 16 and Akaysha Simpkins added 12 and the Eagles used a 16-0 run to start the second quarter en route to a comfortable victory. Oleachea Bowers led the Bears with 14 points.
Enochs held a slim 14-11 lead after the first eight minutes of action, but didn’t allow another Merced to score until 2 minutes, 28 seconds, remained in the second quarter.
Lexi Thompson (10 points) snapped the drought with a free throw.
The Eagles used their height advantage in the second quarter to take over on the boards.
“We preach it over and over,” Enochs coach Curtis Reynolds said of the team’s emphasis on rebounding. “Especially in (the MMC) – we’re the biggest overall team. And our girls do a good job.
“We talk a lot about wearing teams down. Teams get tired and start making mental mistakes. We bank on that for the second quarter.”
• GOLDEN VALLEY 51, DOWNEY 42 – In the tournament opener, the Cougars started the second half on a 12-0 run and held off a late charge by the Knights for the win.
“In our last four games we’ve really struggled protecting leads late in games,” said Golden Valley coach Matt Thissen. “We talked about if we’re up in the fourth quarter, we need to keep our composure, make good decisions with the basketball and make our free throws. We were just so-so in all three of those areas.”
Holding a 25-17 lead at the break, the Cougars seemed ready pull away in the third quarter. But the Knights chipped away and eventually cut the margin to eight with about two minutes remaining. But the Cougars were able to stifle the comeback and push their record to 9-8.
Golden Valley’s sophomore point guard Naomi Peterson led all scorers with 14 points and five steals, while junior Camille Flores had 13 points, 12 rebounds and three assists.
These teams met at Downey High on Jan. 2, with the Cougars pulling out a 49-41 victory.
It that previous matchup, Downey’s Sierra Wilson and Alexis Razo combined for 33 points; on Saturday the duo was held to a combined five points.
• BEYER 66, ATWATER 48 – Liz Berry scored a game-high 22 points in leading the Patriots over the Falcons. Berry was an impressive 13-of-15 from the free-throw line, hitting five of six from during the fourth quarter. She also hit three 3-pointers in the contest. Natalie Govea scored 18 for the Falcons, while Alex Bautista and Chynna
Peterson chipped in with 11 apiece.
• PITMAN 40, MODESTO 16 – Cady Riley led a balanced scoring attack for the Pride with 10 points. In addition, MacKenzie Hassett had 9, Destiny Smith totaled seven and Estephanie Torries and Katie Willett each scored five.
• DAVIS 64, TURLOCK 33 – Three Spartans scored in double figures – Sophia Escalante (19), Tia Patterson (18), Tamia Castaneda (14) – as Davis won its sixth consecutive game after an 0-3 start.