Bruins advance to section title game
LODI Ð Big games have a sneaky way of creating some sizable butterflies and a healthy dose of pressure. But after working through the first-half nerves, the Bear River girls basketball team had no problem locking up a spot in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV championship game.
The No. 3 seeded Bruins beat No. 7 Amador 59-45 Wednesday afternoon at Tokay High School to advance to the section championship game against Colfax. The championship game will be played at noon Saturday at ARCO Arena.
“In the past few years, we haven’t even been this far and now that we’re so close (to a section championship) we want it even more,” Bear River junior standout Lauren Juric said. “I just don’t think at the beginning of the game we realized how badly we wanted to win.”
Bear River struggled out of the gates, falling behind at one time, 11-5.
“In the first quarter we started out really flat,” Bear River coach Jeff Bickmore said. “We got a lot of good shots, but we didn’t hit any of them and on defense we were giving up shots. It was kind of scary, really.”
But a late first-quarter 3-pointer by senior Kristin Landre helped the Bruins pull to within 11-10 after one quarter. The Bruins played behind for the majority of the second quarter, still unable to completely shake the slow start, but went into halftime down just 21-19.
A minute and half into the second half, the Bruins came alive and scored 15 unanswered points to take a 34-21 lead with three minutes and 44 seconds remaining in the quarter. During the run, Katie Thompson, Erin Noud and Juric hit 3-pointers, with Juric scoring the other six points.
From that point on, the Bruins were in complete control of the game, with Amador never able to cut the lead below double digits. Juric fouled out of the game with 4:13 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Bear River hit 10-of-13 free throws in the final 1:42 to seal the 14-point win and trip to ARCO.
“We did a good job of taking care of the ball in the fourth quarter and moving it around to run out the clock,” Bickmore said.
Juric led the Bruins with 16 points, 11 rebounds, two blocks and two assists, with Chandre Uno finishing right behind her with 15 points. Noud was in double digits as well with 11 points and three assists. Landre chipped in with nine points and two steals.
The No. 1 seeded Colfax Falcons beat No. 4 Bret Harte 52-47 in the other Division IV semifinal game following Bear River’s game.
Colfax and Bear River split the Pioneer Valley League championship this season. Colfax won at Bear River, 52-51, but the Bruins returned the favor winning the final regular season game at Colfax, 66-50.
BEAR RIVER 59, AMADOR 45
Amador 11 10 8 16 – 45
Bear River 10 9 24 16 – 59
AMADOR (45): Linda Bellotti 0 2-2 2, Morgan Ledermann 4 1-3 9, Katie Grady 4 2-5 10, Rikki Murphy 2 4-6 8, Emily Sullivan 3 0-0 6, Cierra Murphy 0 0-0 0, Celeste Casita 2 1-5 5, Kayla Cribbs 2 1-3 5. Totals 17 11-21 45.
BEAR RIVER (59): Chandre Uno 3 7-8 15, Shannon Dayton 1 0-0 2, Erin Noud 3 4-5 11, Katie Thompson 2 0-0 5, Kristin Landre 4 0-0 9, Lauren Juric 5 5-10 16, Kaitlyn Spence 0 1-2 1. Totals 18 17-25 59.
Fouled out: A– R. Murphy, BR — Juric. Total fouls: A – 19 , BR – 18. Technical fouls: none.
To contact sportswriter Stacy Hicklin e-mail her via firstname.lastname@example.org or call 477-4244.
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