PREP BASKETBALL: Bear River lights up Mountain House in D4 playoffs | TheUnion.com

PREP BASKETBALL: Bear River lights up Mountain House in D4 playoffs

Brian Shepard
Special to The Union

There was no shortage of offense Tuesday night as the Bear River Lady Bruins found their mojo, knocking off Mountain House, 78-57, in the opening round of the Sac-Joaquin Section D-IV playoffs at Jack R. McCrory Gymnasium.

The contest remained tight through the first quarter with five lead changes early on, but the Lady Bruins took the lead for good pulling ahead of the Mustangs 19-17 and never looked back.

"We finally clicked tonight when it mattered most," said Bruins head coach Randy Billingsley. "I knew (Mountain House) would be super athletic and fast. We just knocked it down. Good rhythm takes from 3. They were fearless offensively."

Bear River imposed its will in the paint throughout the contest, securing rebounds and popping in putbacks and mixed in a healthy dose firing from beyond the arc. Closing the second quarter on 20-8 run, the Lady Bruins secured a 44-28 lead at the break.

"Everyone just started playing together and we got another spark of energy," said senior Katelyn Meylor, who led the team in scoring with 22 points tongonwith six steals. "Everyone was contributing."

Not to be outdone, senior Mallory Rath made her presence felt in the paint, keeping the Mustangs on their heels much of the night as she tossed in 20 points and hauled in 29 boards to go with four assists, two steals and a block.

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"Just being able to box out, finding a player and getting to out jump them," said Rath, who just couldn't be contained. "Hustling, being aggressive like I always am."

Bear River kept the heat on and led 61-39 at the end of the third quarter. Senior Kylee Dresbach-Hill and sophomore Gabi Corralejo made sure Mountain House was sent home with lasting memories as they each buried multiple 3-pointers.

"I think we really turned it on once we realized what our competition was," explained Dresbach-Hill, who finished with 19 points and four assists. "It was a tangible win and it wasn't going to be the hardest game of our lives. We relied on each other and moved the ball around."

Corralejo rounded out the offense for the Bruins, shooting 4-of-5 from deep to finish with 12 points.

"(Gabi) played like a beast tonight," added Billingsley. "Truly she's coming in under her own as a starter in this team. She's going to be our leader going forward in the next years."

The Lady Mustangs were led by Andrea Garcia, who ended her night with 25 points.

Next up for Bear River (16-10) will be the winner of No. 2 Union Mine versus No. 15 Dixon on Thursday.

Brian Shepard is a freelance sports writer who contributes to The Union regularly.

BEAR RIVER LEADERS

Katelyn Meylor – 22 points, 6 steals

Kylee Dresbach-Hill – 19 points, 4 assists

Mallory Rath – 20 points, 29 rebounds