HILMAR -- As soon as the team huddle broke up, Jessica Paine made a beeline for the parking lot.
While teammates reminisced with family and friends about Hilmar's 51-40 Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV first-round victory over Vacaville Christian on Tuesday night, Paine could only think of getting home and getting in bed.
The senior guard had been battling a cold all week and as the adrenaline began to wear off, she was ready to succumb.
Oh the irony.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Merced Sun-Star
Paine's four big 3-pointers in the second and third quarters had to leave Vacaville Christian feeling sick.
"I can barely breath right now," admitted Paine, who matched a season-high with 16 points.
"We knew they liked to play pressure defense, so I just kept trying to find holes in their defense."
Paine's back-to-back 3s in the third quarter helped break open the game, giving Hilmar a 34-24 lead with 1:16 to play in the quarter.
It was the first time all game either team had any breathing room.
Hilmar struggled for the better part of three quarters with Vacaville Christian's press.
Vacaville forced 25 turnovers in the game, but seldom could take advantage.
"We knew they were going to come out and press and unfortunately, that kind of pressure is difficult to simulate in practice," Hilmar coach Paul Willis said. "I told the girls they were going to turn the ball over, but if they did, they had to get back and defend.
"We were able to make up for a lot of our mistakes. It's how we held a good team to 40 points."
Hilmar did the bulk of its damage on the offensive glass.
With Vacaville often overcommitting with its half-court traps, Shelbi Santos and company found plenty of space inside.
Hilmar pulled in
16 offensive rebounds. Santos finished with a game-high 18 rebounds to go along with her 12 points.
"We hadn't seen that kind of press before, so it took us a little while to figure things out," point guard Lindsey Mendes said. "Once we started moving the ball around we had a lot of open space."
Doris Becerra (eight points) helped VC cut Hilmar's lead to six twice in the fourth quarter.
But Hilmar hit 11 of 16 free throws in the fourth to pull away.
Hilmar will host No. 5 Linden on Thursday.
Vacaville Chr. 11 11 5 13 -- 40
Hilmar 10 13 11 17 -- 51
VACAVILLE CHRISTIAN -- Amber Hutchinson 5, Lauren Grabowski 5, Alex Erb 7, Doris Becerra 8, Cristina Southern 8, Pilar Johnson 2. Totals 16 6-15 40.
HILMAR -- Lindsey Mendes 6, Alyssa McFaddin 1, Annie Easter 2, Jessica Paine 16, Shelbi Santos 12, Stesha Brazil 7, Caitlin Benning 7. Totals 13 21-33 51.
3-pointers: Vacaville Chr. 2 (Erb, Kelsey), Hilmar 4 (Paine); Total Fouls: Vacaville Chr. 20, Hilmar 14; Fouls Outs: Vacaville Chr. (Grabowski, Hutchinson).
Records: Vacaville Chr. 21-7; Hilmar 24-3.