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CHS girls basketball falls to San Dimas in CIF action

CHS girl varsity basketball team

Claremont High School’s girl varsity basketball was ready to stage the ultimate comeback during Wednesday night’s CIF quarterfinal game against San Dimas High School. Unfortunately, the script was written against Claremont in the end as the team fell 54-49 to the Saints in overtime.
The first quarter started off even with both teams playing clean and only drawing several fouls each. The girls went for three-pointers and layups in the early stages to build up a lead as well as momentum. The Saints came out of the first quarter on the better end of the scoreline, leading the Wolfpack 12-10.
In the second quarter, San Dimas began pressuring the Wolfpack, adding a full-court press to their strong one-one marking in an effort to quell any CHS momentum. During the opening minutes the Saints were able to keep CHS inside their own half of the court, forcing mistakes by CHS. San Dimas however, failed to capitalize on the many steals and loose ball recoveries during the quarter.
The second quarter also featured a strong match-up between CHS guard Adrianna Torres and SDHS guard Olivia Romero. While the pair stuck to one another throughout the entire game, Torres was able to outscore her adversary 5 to 3 before halftime.
For most of the game, the Wolfpack chased San Dimas, even trailing by eight points during the fourth and final quarter. But in the final 1:30 minutes, the team came alive. The girls took the game to the Saints and pressed them in their own half. After a decisive three-pointer, the full-court press forced two crucial turnovers and the Pack was able to score another four quick points.
The team eventually built up a two-point lead against the high pressing Saints for the first time in the game, gaining a 45-43 advantage after CHS’s Maryah Anderson sunk both of her free throws with seven seconds remaining in the game. However, a quick attack from the Saints saw San Dimas’s Janessa Rodrigues deny Claremont their fairy tale ending, sending the game into overtime.
CHS never really got going in the overtime period and was outscored by San Dimas in the last eight minutes to fall 54-49.
Basketball Coach Michael James said the girls played hard to get themselves back into the game after a tough first half.
“We really didn’t play very well in the first half…But we were only down four at halftime,” Coach James said. “We thought we’d be able to make a run at some point and get ourselves back into the game.”
“The fourth quarter was crazy. We were down by eight at one point and then we had that crazy stretch where we just put everything together and our kids played hard,” he added.
After finishing fourth in the Palomares League with a 5-5 record and entering the playoffs as an at-large team, the Wolfpack began their CIF journey on May 27 against San Jacinto, the winners of the Mountain Pass League. Claremont made that one look easy, stunning San Jacinto 49-36.
In the second round on May 29, the Wolfpack traveled to play number one seeded Highland High School in Palmdale. Despite a low scoring game, the Wolfpack was able to overcome the Bulldogs, 34-33.
“That was probably our biggest thrill of the playoffs. We’ve been the road warriors,” Coach James said, adding that his teams have gone on two two-hour bus rides during the CIF tournament.
“We spent a lot of time on the bus so it was nice to get back home,” he said. “I just wish we could have gotten the W at home.” He hopes that the pain of this defeat will encourage the returning players to come back stronger to win the whole thing next season.
Claremont reached the CIF quarterfinals without help from two of their key players, junior center Sidney Sparks and freshman guard Jordy DeMott—both of whom have been sidelined for injuries the past two weeks.
Coach James said even in the pair’s absence, his young team played fairly well against some tough opposition over the last few months.
“Our team’s really young and that’s the thing. At one point we had two freshmen, two sophomores, and a junior on the floor,” Coach James said. “Once we’re at full strength, the two kids that didn’t play are both difference makers. Throw them into the mix of kids who got all the experience, who took their places…I think for us, next year we should be better. And then the year after that we should be even better so we’ve gaining valuable experience.”
The girls basketball team finished their season with an overall record of 10-9.

by Andrew Alonzo | aalonzo@claremont-courier.com

 

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