The season is over for the Los Banos High girls basketball team after a 46-35 loss to Bret Harte in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 4 playoffs.
The 11th-seeded Tigers trailed by two heading into the fourth quarter on Tuesday night, but were outscored 19-10 by the Bullfrogs, who hit 10 of 12 free throws down the stretch. Los Banos held Bret Harte to four points in the third quarter.
“The girls kind of relaxed, again this was their first real playoff game for a lot of them, and they were a little nervous,” Los Banos coach Danny Crosby said. “Playing at the higher elevation might have played a part in the game.”
Los Banos guard Jacquelin Arretche scored 23 points – 20 in the second half – to lead all scorers . But Los Banos’ trio of post players contributed just two points on free throws, despite doubles digits in rebounds for Evelyn Johnson (11) and Savannah Pena (10).
“Usually a lot of Evelyn’s points are from putbacks, but the shots just weren’t falling,” Crosby said. “We had a size advantage. They weren’t as tall as us, but they were athletic.”
The only Tigers to score on field goals other than Arretche were Nicole Marchese (two 3-pointers) and Keiloni Smith (one 3-pointer).
Kesley Switzer, averaging nearly 20 points a game, led the Bullfrogs with 14, followed by Jessie Evans with 12.
The Tigers won their last three games of the season and pulled away from Central Valley in the last two weeks of the season to claim the Western Athletic Conference’s third playoff spot.
It was Los Banos’ fourth straight season going to the playoffs – they lost in the first round in 2011 and 2012 and the second round last year.
“We didn’t do much during the summer, so to bring that group together, build some chemistry have them playing good basketball was good,” Crosby said. “I don’t know what the record is in Los Banos, but having four straight appearances is huge, and we’re a young team. Next year it’ll be the same thing: we have to finish in the top three.
“I think we’ll have one of the top teams other than Patterson. I think that we’ll have these ladies ready to go next year to compete for a league title with Patterson. I’m returning eight players from this season, and now they have playoff experience.”