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March 17, 2013The theme of these NorCal finals games is familiar foes facing off yet again. In every one of these contests the teams involved had been involved before with each other at some point. After all was said and done at the end of the day, it was some of the usual suspects heading back to Sacramento to compete for the state title. Heading back for a sixth time is Coach Doc Scheppler and his Pinewood team of Los Altos.
Pinewood 48, Eastside Prep 36
Pinewood hadn't fared well in their three previous meetings with Eastside Prep, but got off to a strong start with a 7-0 lead. From that point they seemed to be in pretty good control of the game throughout the contest. A strong statement in the 3rd period helped give them further separation in the game. The Panthers did attempt a late charge down the stretch, but could never get inside double digits late. A feisty defense and a strong showing from the line helped the Panthers advance to the state title game.
Marissa Hing, Pinewood, 2015: Hing was the spark at the front of her team's attack. Her energy and aggressive approach with the dribble contributed within the offense. She was successful getting inside the defense and on numerous occasions drew the foul calls sending her to the line. There was a lack of success finding rhythm with her shot from the field, but she had no problem from the free throw line where she was perfect. At times she was a tad wild in her decision making and risky play. In the end the diminutive lead guard's positive plays outnumbered those of her negative ones to help her team come out on top.
Leanna Bade, Pinewood, 2014: Bade was a scoring threat with the drive and one who could knock down the outside shot with consistency. She was effective creating scoring looks off drives baseline and with the dribble in the open floor. Bade got herself space and open looks around basket many a times, but some of baskets were left out there unfinished. She demonstrated confidence and ease in being able to enter the middle from both sides. A strong shooter she shot the ball well from the arc, and with range. She was the leading scorer for the game with 18 points.
Charmai Bradford, Eastside Prep, 2014: Bradford was her team's best scoring option from start to finish and didn't shy away from taking any shot on the floor. Bradford preferred, however, to use her compact frame against the defense to create space around the midrange or muscle her defender on the drive to get into the lane for the floater and other times lay ups. Every time the ball got into her hands she was looking for openings to attack and get a look at the basket. Down the stretch she was active in pressure situations in efforts of forcing the pace of Pinewood.
Hashima Carothers, Eastside Prep, 2013: The USF bound senior really seemed out of sync against the defense of Pinewood. Carothers really fought to get herself quality looks in the offense all game. She couldn't really seem to get the ball in the right spots at the right times. She had a nice shot pulling up from about 12 feet and another on a strong drive in the middle. A player of determination and exertion was unable to get the ball to roll her way on some opportunities close range. When the Panthers extended their pressure she displayed hustle in attempting to cover different spaces across the floor. She finished her career with a double-double.
Salesian 53, Piedmont 43
The match up of David and Goliath in the NorCal DIV title game was dictated by the size of the Pride from the opening tip. Salesian's size from the wing to the post made it difficult on the Highlanders at the defensive end and presented a lot of excellent looks for their offense. The Highlanders fought tooth and nail all the way till the final tick off the clock, but could never maintain a strong enough charge. The Pride of Salesian with the win move on to their second straight state title appearance.
Kian McNair, Salesian, 2015: The left handed lead guard was all over the floor for her team racing end to end in efforts of making a play at every chance she got. McNair found her spots getting those shots from the perimeter, midrange, and up close. Getting or identifying her shot on the floor she didn't have a problem, but it was finding consistency in knocking down those shots which she found a challenge. Her tenacity and her knack for going hard on every play definitely made a difference in certain times of the game to make a play when it was needed.
Mariya Moore, Salesian, 2014: This wasn't one of Moore's finer offensive games, but she still was a factor while on the floor. She facilitated from the top of the arc finding the mismatch at the block or a teammate diving in around the paint for those high percentage chances. Her vision combined with her size made her strong in the passing game. Acting as that quarterback from the point she showed a tendency at times to become stagnant once she had released the ball watching instead of reinserting herself as a viable threat. At the other end of the floor she used her frame to muscle opposing players whether it was in the open floor or in action around the glass halting the momentum or controlling the possession. She finished the game with less than her normal as far as output, but affected various aspects of the game.
Zoe Correal, Salesian, 2014: The improving post player Correal had herself an impact in the first two quarters of play with efficient play from the scoring end of the ball. She established herself in vulnerable positions of the defense and had her hands readily available to receive the ball up high for the finish. Going in at the half she had 8 points and 6 rebounds. From that point she didn't seem to have the same touch on the ball the rest of the way and slightly fewer touches. She did appear to be fairly comfortable from the line going 3-4 in the latter parts of the game.
Maddy Mills, Piedmont, 2013: This gritty guard showed no hesitation in letting loose those long range shots from around the perimeter making an impact in the scoring column for the Highlanders as a very effective secondary scoring option. She was on the floor for every play and whatever she may have lacked she didn't let it show or affect her game. In the loss she was 5-9 from downtown.
Lauren Seyranian, Piedmont, 2014: The junior off guard shot in volume in the championship against Salesian and the numbers didn't turn in her favor. She had a tendency to force the action more often than not which had a commanding effect on her shot selection for the game. At times she could manage to get around her man gaining position while drawing the foul call and other instances she seemed to look for the foul call rather than earning it. She demonstrated she had a nice pull up off the dribble from midrange proving she didn't have to over dribble on her drive. On her lone connection from downtown the shot looked good from the catch to the release. Seyranian made several visits to the line where she shot 75% going 12-16.
Sacred Heart Cathedral 46, St. Ignatius 28
For a fifth time these two schools from the WCAL clashed and this time something much larger was at stake. In all the previous meetings the Irish had come out victorious. It was a game of monumental and timely runs that would seal the deal and give the Irish all they needed. Initially it was an 18-4 run and then another run in the middle portion of the second half that helped push the lead to 20 and out of reach for good. A balanced offensive attack of three double digit scorers turned out to be all SHC would need they will be going back to the DIII state title game to represent Northern California.
Ashanti Coleman, Sacred Heart Cathedral, 2015: This sophomore's length helped change and make plays throughout the game at both ends of the floor. Aside from Coleman's nice wingspan she was quite bouncy as well. She could cover ground defensively, rebound in and out of her area, and change shots being on the floor. Most of the time she caught passes in the paint and with a soft touch shot the ball up over the defense and then in another sequence she caught the ball on the run and finished the bucket. She made a lot of things appear easy and made plays when she was present on the floor. She finished the championship game with a near double-double.
Briannah Smith, Sacred Heart Cathedral, 2013: The senior guard player bigger physically than her stature would suggest. Smith attempted strong drives and relished the opportunity of absorbing contact inside the defense. She helped the Irish's cause of pushing the pace and keeping the speed of the game in her team's favor.
Sydney Raggio, St. Ignatius, 2015: The left handed forward for the Wildcats was a bright spot for her team early. In fact she got her team off to a quick start with her work around both sides of the paint. First it was a drop step from left side going into the baseline and then she became comfortable as a scoring option in different capacities. It was midrange from the dribble or off the catch from the perimeter she didn't shy away from attempting scoring chances. Sydney was also a strong rebounder unopposed to mixing it up and using her body against her opponent to snatch missed shots from the rim with tight grasp. Effort was being made to do the things she could to keep her team in the game. This was until part way into the third period when she had a bad fall injuring her ankle and being removed for the rest of the contest.