Bruins cruise to win |

Bruins cruise to win

Perhaps the biggest challenge for the No. 3 Bear River girls basketball team in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs Tuesday night was managing not to overlook their opponent – the No. 14 Hilmar Yellow Jackets.

The Bruins never trailed in the game, using a 19-point second quarter to secure a 45-27 win at home en route to moving on the next round of postseason play.

“I think as a team we really helped each other to stay focused,” junior guard Erin Noud said. “We wanted to come out strong and not make too many mistakes. You can’t take any risks and jeopardize a win during the playoffs.”

Bear River coach Jeff Bickmore agreed, saying the biggest motivating factor for his team in avoiding becoming overconfident was reminding them one loss would end the season.

The first quarter of play was fairly slow with both teams combining for eight turnovers. A Hilmar 3-pointer at the buzzer put the Bruins up just 10-6 after one quarter.

From that point on, however, it was all Bear River as the Bruins began the second quarter on a 10-0 run keyed by 3-pointers from Noud and sophomore point guard Chandre Uno. Bear River led 29-12 at halftime.

Within the final seven seconds of the third quarter, Uno and junior center Lauren Juric both fouled out of the game. However the Bruins were up 40-18 with just one quarter remaining.

Juric ended with a game-high 11 points, the only player in the game in double figures. She also came away with eight rebounds and four blocks.

Uno and Noud had nine and eight points, respectively, with senior guard Kristin Landre chipping in with four rebounds, four steals, three points and two blocks.

With the win, the Bruins’ record improves to 20-7, the 17th year in school history the girls basketball team has reached the 20-win mark. Hilmar finished the season 15-13 after going 7-7 for a fourth place finish in the Trans Valley League.

Next up, the Bruins host the winner of the No. 6 Loretto/No. 11 blank game at 7 p.m. Thursday at Bear River.

“Loretto is really quick, not real big, but they keep coming at you,” Bickmore said. “They like to double team with lots of pressure to take you out of your comfort zone.”

Hilmar 6 6 6 9 – 27

Bear River 10 19 11 5 – 45

HILMAR (27): Whitney McFaddin 0 0-0 0, Candice Martin 1 0-0 2, Kristen Kronberg 3 2-4 8, Courtney Ramos 1 0-1 2, Valerie Miguel 0 2-5 2, Jealeisa Gemperle 1 0-0 3, Mindy Avila 1 0-0 2, Abby Stroup 1 0-2 2, Jessica Winans 1 0-0 2, Kari Kronberg 0 1-2 1, Karly Van Foeken 0 3-6 3. Totals 9 8-20 27.

BEAR RIVER (45): Chandre Uno 4 0-0 9, Shannon Dayton 0 0-0 0, Erin Noud 3 0-0 8, Tanya Copeland 2 0-0 5, Katie Thompson 2 1-1 5, Rachel Welz 0 0-0 0, Kristin Landre 1 1-3 3, Lauren Juric 4 2-4 11, Adrienne Brown 1 0-0 2, Kaitlyn Spence 1 0-0 2, Jocelyn Fry 0 0-0 0, Annie Osterholt 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 4-8 45.

Fouled out: BR – Juric, Uno. Total fouls: H 9, BR 20. Technical fouls: none.

To contact sportswriter Stacy Hicklin, e-mail or call 477-4244.

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