LOS BANOS — The Los Banos girls basketball team overcame a 15-point third-quarter deficit to survive its Sac-Joaquin Section Division 4 play-in playoff game Friday, 56-55 over San Juan.
A scramble for a loose ball led to a Los Banos inbound pass with 7 seconds remaining in the game and the Tigers trailing 55-54.
The ball quickly swung around to Los Banos guard Jacquelin Arretche at the top of the key. But when she pulled the trigger on a 3-point shot, San Juan's Dominique Contreras was there to get a hand on it.
Fortunately for the Tigers, guard Alexis Barcellos was waiting for the errant shot under the basket. She grabbed the rebound, then laid the shot in off the glass.
"We didn't draw that up, no," Los Banos coach Danny Crosby said with a laugh. "But I'm glad it happened."
Barcellos was mobbed by her teammates, but there were still 2.4 seconds left on the clock.
San Juan inbounded the ball with a half-court pass to guard Robbin Martinez, who caught it in the air and stumbled backward, earning a traveling call as time expired.
Martinez was one of two catalysts for San Juan, torching Los Banos for 15 points in the first half. Teammate Jesse Enright added 14 in the second half.
Near the end of the third quarter, the Spartans led 48-33 after an Enright layup.
"When we realized that (Martinez) was taking all those shots, we did a box-and-one on her, and Alyssa Luna was the one who that did that," Barcellos said. "She was the one who got us back in the game with her passes and taking it to the basket.
"Everything we were told to do, but everyone was too afraid," said Barcellos. "She started and we all kind of followed."
With Luna directing the point, LB chipped away to take a 54-53 lead on a Tiffany Liu free throw, but Enright put San Juan back on top with about 2:30 remaining. Nobody scored again until Barcellos' game-winner.
"I really can't explain. We did go kind of flat in the fourth quarter, but I think it was the intensity and knowing that there is no tomorrow if we don't win. So I think they just had the energy to go. Alyssa came out and did an excellent job in the second half."