Patterson High School’s girls basketball team, seeded No. 10 in the CIF Division III Northern California regional tournament, jumped all over No. 7 Branham in the first quarter and never looked back en route to a 56-43 victory Wednesday night in San Jose.
The Tigers (27-4) advance to play No. 2 Bishop O’Dowd in Oakland on Saturday night at 6. The Dragons, coming off a 72-66 loss to Miramonte (Orinda) in the North Coast Section final, are ranked 11th in the state by Cal-Hi Sports.
Patterson bolted to a 19-3 lead after the first quarter and then held on the rest of the way. The Bruins (21-9) outscored the Tigers 15-13 in the second quarter and 13-11 in the third. The final stanza also was closely contested, as Patterson held a 16-12 edge.
“We just came out and dominated them,” said Patterson coach Elizabeth Tolleson. “We knew what was at stake and we were just mentally ready to go.”
Patterson used its size to control the boards. That led to fast-break opportunities and the Tigers cashed in with easy layups.
“They like to run and gun and shoot as much as we do,” said Tolleson. “We tried to take out their best player and hold her below her average.”
Branham senior Regina Sankey came into Wednesday’s contest averaging 23 points and 11 rebounds per contest. The Tigers held her to 14 points.
Patterson senior Ariyanna Cashen led all scorers with 20 pints, while Shealyn Craven poured in 16, with nine of those points coming via three-pointers.
“Everybody that’s still playing in this tournament is a good team,” said Tolleson. “We’ve got nothing to lose at this point.”
Tolleson said her team was a bit intimidated playing top-seeded Vanden (Fairfield) in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs last week. Patterson fell 85-46 to the eventual D-III champs in the second round. Vanden is also the top seed in the NorCal regional.
“This game definitely builds our confidence,” said Tolleson. “We’re not satisfied.”
Ferndale 62, Turlock Christian 42 in Ferndale – Coach Edwin Santiago’s Eagles traveled nearly 400 miles to take on the Wildcats, and were sent home with a 20-point loss.
Fortunately, Turlock Christian (20-10) didn’t have to board a bus after the game for a trip that would get the Eagles home well after 2 a.m. The squad was able to spend the night in Humboldt County, and will strike out for home this morning.
“This is a proud moment for our seniors,” said Santiago, whose team was runner-up in the Sac-Joaquin Section tournament for a second consecutive year. “We had a good time and good trip and made memories that will last forever. It was my pleasure to coach this team.”
Cassandra Balswick finished with 12 points and 10 assists to lead the Eagles, while McCalister Russell finished with 12 points. Hannah Sawyer chipped in with 10.
Turlock Christian had no answer for Rachelle Regli, who scored a game-high 21 points. Teammate Bailey Collings scored 16 of her 17 points in the second half. Sarah Richardson and Emma Gomes scored 10 apiece for the Wildcats (15-14).