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Le Grand's Hansen steals the show

LE GRAND -- The thought of playing her last game is scary for Jennifer Hansen.

The senior guard isn't ready to turn in her Le Grand jersey or put away her shoes.

However, Hansen knows in the playoffs her high school career can come to a sudden end.

Hansen made sure that didn't happen on Tuesday night.

Hansen scored 27 points to outscore Hughson by herself in Le Grand's 44-26 win in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs at Le Grand High.

Hansen added 10 rebounds and eight steals.

"It really could be my last game," Hansen said. "I knew that going in.

"That's why I'm ready to do anything I can to make sure it doesn't end. I'm not ready to be done."

Hansen scored 17 points in the first half, including eight during an 11-0 run to close the second quarter that gave Le Grand (26-2) a 26-15 lead.

"They shot the ball well and we didn't," said Hughson coach Dennis Hobby, whose team ended the season with a 20-7 record.

"That was the story of the game. Hansen is a great player and she had a great game."

Le Grand made it a long night for Hughson's guards with its relentless pressure.

Le Grand held Hughson to just

15 points in the final three quarters.

"That's what we've done all year," Hansen said. "Our scouting report told us they couldn't handle the ball well and we took advantage of that."

Le Grand extended the lead to 41-21 early in the fourth quarter.

"We usually execute better than we did tonight," Hobby said. "We fumbled, bumbled and stumbled out there.

"Le Grand plays an up-tempo style and they play very good defense."

Madelyn Birchall led Hughson with nine points.

Veronica Moreno chipped in with eight points, including two big 3-pointers in the third quarter for Le Grand.

Le Grand advances to the second round on Thursday when it will travel to Jackson to face No. 3 Argonaut.

Argonaut defeated Encina 67-51 in the first round.

"(Argonaut) has a couple of six-foot girls and a really good guard," Le Grand coach Danny Crosby said.

"It's going to be key that our post players step up and stay out of foul trouble."

"We have to play with the same intensity," Hansen said. "I think we can play anybody. We just have to keep this momentum and intensity."

At Le Grand

Hughson 11 4 6 5 -- 26

Le Grand 11 15 14 4 -- 44

HUGHSON -- Madelyn Birchall 9, Christie Hobby 4, Karli Stark 1, Alyssa Herrera 2, Bailey Tucker 5, Nicole Whitfield 4. Totals 10 6-20 26.

LE GRAND -- Miranda Flores 5, Jennifer Hansen 27, Vironica Moreno 8, Cindy Wilson 2, Maggie Mujica 2. Totals: 13 16-21 44.

3-pointers: Hughson 0, Le Grand 2 (Moreno 2); Total Fouls: Hughson 19, Le Grand 19; Fouled Out -- Presley Ringeisen (LG).

Records: Hughson 20-7, Le Grand 26-2.