CIF Nor-Cal playoffs ends in loss

BC drama donates part of funds for ‘High School Musical’ to player’s family

AJ Buada, Editor

Although most basketball fans have moved on to the NBA playoffs, the Lady Bruins are still celebrating — if only inwardly — their undefeated season in the SJAA.

Every game throughout the season was dedicated to Malaysia Porter, a former Bear Creek basketball player who passed away in a car crash in July of 2017. The BC Drama Department dedicated the matinee showing of “High School Musical” on April 21, along with a part of the proceeds, to the Porter family.

“I know she didn’t spend a lot of time here [the theater] but she loved it when she was here, and I’m just so grateful for everything you all have done,” Cynthia Omobolaji, Malaysia’s mother, said.

The CIF NorCal playoffs posed a thrilling challenge, but the Lady Bruins’ postseason run ended in the first round with a disappointing 54-50 loss to the St. Francis Lancers of Mountain View on March 7. The Bruins took the loss in stride and focused on one goal: gaining more experience.

“You have to let it all out on the court every game because you don’t know if it could be your last,” point guard Mya Blake, a freshman, said after reflecting on the season.

The league champion Lady Bruins ended their 2017-2018 regular season with a 10-0 record in the SJAA. With a second league championship added to the girls basketball banner, the team has left a legacy.

“Going 10-0 felt awesome because we were able to overcome a lot of our struggles last year,” center Maya Price, a senior, said. “All the hard work we put in over summer, in open gym and in preseason all paid off.”

For the first time in school history, the girls varsity basketball team advanced to the Division II Section finals game held at the University of the Pacific on March 2; however, the Lady Bruins fell just short of what would have been an undefeated section championship.

Heading into what would be an intensely competitive game, the Antelope Titans of Antelope showed that they were a formidable opponent, as they were the number one seed in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II bracket. From the tip-off to the final buzzer, nervousness and energy surged through all the players and the enthusiastic crowd.

“The adrenaline rush before the game felt surreal,” shooting guard Hailey Victorio, a junior, said. “We wanted to put on an exciting game and told ourselves that we didn’t come all this way to lose.”

In a back-and-forth battle between the top two teams in the division, four quarters were not enough to decide the winner when the Titans tied the game after coming back from a six-point deficit in the remaining two minutes of the fourth quarter. The two teams headed into overtime, which was decided when Antelope pulled away in the end with the championship banner and a final score of 66-58.

“The game was intense, and everyone was dialed in and focused on what they needed to do to get the job done,” shooting guard Cassidy Byrne, a junior, said. “Throughout the game and OT especially, we couldn’t box out or get rebounds, which was a big reason why we lost.”

Seeking redemption is now one of the Lady Bruins’ main priorities. The youthful program will look to return and chase after the championship banner again next season.

“I want to come back and win sections and go further in NorCals [next year],” Blake said. “Being a freshman on the varsity team, I know I can always learn from these experiences and rely on my teammates.”

Despite losing their two seniors, Price and Vanessa Cochrane, the Lady Bruins already have their sights set on next year’s division title and NorCal playoffs run.