It's been 31 years since a Chowchilla High girls basketball team has won a Valley Championship. The Tribe moved one step closer to ending that drought on Friday night.
Second-seeded Chowchilla (15-12) cruised past No. 7 Granite Hills of Porterville 54-39 in the Central Section Division IV playoffs. The Tribe are now two wins away for that elusive Valley Championship.
"It does see like a realistic goal," said Chowchilla senior Adriana Felsinger, who scored a team-high 13 points. "It's crazy how close it is. It's kind of cool because some of the players from that 1987 team come back to watch us."
The Tribe took their lumps during the regular season, finishing 2-8 in a very tough North Sequoia League. Chowchilla had a tough time against bigger schools.
Those games helped prepare the Tribe for the postseason. Chowchilla has opened the playoffs with two double-digit victories.
"It was a tough league," Tribe coach Don Smith said. "There were no easy games. We only had one game where we completely fell apart in and that was with Yosemite. Those games helped prepare us for where we are now. We're peaking at the right time."
The Tribe shot the ball well against the Grizzlies (13-15), especially early.
Chowchilla came out and knocked down three 3-pointers in the first quarter and made five shots from beyond the arc in the first half.
The Tribe closed out the first quarter with a 13-0 run to open up an 18-4 lead. Leading the way was Felsinger, who scored 10 points in the opening quarter.
Kiley Garvey and Suraya Houston also drained 3-pointers during the Tribe run.
"We were told to shoot the lights out so we were like, let's do it," Felsinger said. "We got on them early to secure the win."
Meanwhile, it was a tough night offensively for Granite Hills. The Grizzlies 5 minutes and 46 seconds without scoring in the first half and they turned the ball over 18 times in the first two quarters.
Chowchilla stretched the lead to 34-13 at the half and Granite Hills never threatened in the second half.
Suraya Houston made three 3-pointers on the night and finished with 12 points. Kylie Hall added two more 3-pointers for all six of her points.
Alison Gargill turned in a strong all-around game with nine points, eight rebounds and four steals.
"We try to share the ball," Smith said. "This was a good team effort. We're a deep team. When everyone is playing well we're a pretty good team."
The Tribe will host a semifinal game on Wednesday against the No. 3 Rosamond, who squeaked past No. 6 Corcoran 43-41 on Friday night.