BEAT GOES ON: Section champion Lady Falcons surge past Gryphons, advance to second round of state tournament
Special to The Union
Falcons 57, Gryphons 38
Team 1 2 3 4 F
Forest Lake Christian 18 14 15 10 57
Credo 11 8 14 5 38
FLC: Alicia McDaniel 15 pts, 6 ast., 11 rb
FLC: Amber Jackson 15 pts, 3 ast, 4 rb
FLC: Sadie Whaley 12 pts, 3 stl
The dominance continues.
After nabbing the Sac-Joaquin D6 Section title the Forest Lake Christian girls basketball team picked up right where it left off in the opening round of the CIF State playoffs Wednesday night.
Behind an enthusiastic home crowd Forest Lake Christian surged ahead midway through the first quarter and never looked back, blasting Credo of Rohnert Park, 57-38.
“I love getting a home playoff game,” said John McDaniel, whose team fed off the energy of a loud and proud student section. “Lot of fans out. Nice to see the girls put on a pretty good show, too. They played really good D. They played pretty smart offensively and took the ball to the rim when we needed to. They were taking outside shots when we needed to. It’s a pretty good all-around good game for them.”
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A relentless Lady Falcon defense created plenty of opportunities on the offensive end. Steals opened up the floor to score in transition. Finding open shots with sensational ball movement kept the Lady Gryphons on their heels much of the night as Forest Lake Christian took a 32-19 advantage into the locker room at halftime.
“Yes, definitely defense,” said senior Amber Jackson, who tossed in a game-high 15 points to go with four rebounds and three assists. “I think that’s our strong suit right now and hopefully that’s what will carry us to a state championship. I think tonight it was really important that we came out after that win and just brought it again because it’s easy to just sit back and be like, ‘Oh we won sections.’”
There was no slowing down in the second half for the Lady Falcons. Senior Alicia McDaniel could not be stopped, continuing her dominance down low, pummeling her way through the paint and flipping in bucket after bucket as Forest Lake Christian extended its lead to 47-33 by the end of the third quarter.
McDaniel finished the night with a double-double, tallying game-high 15 points to go with 11 boards and six assists.
Also knocking down some clutch shots were freshman Sadie Whaley, who ended with 12 points. She was followed by junior Ellie Wood and senior Jessi Dreschler, who finished with eight and seven points respectively.
Credo tried to slow things down a bit with some late foul tactics, but Forest Lake Christian knocked down free throws and led by as many as 21 points before ultimately swarming the Gryphons to exhaustion on defense.
Next up No.3 Forest Lake Christian (24-5) will travel to take on No. 2 Redding Christian in the regional semifinals at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
Brian Shepard is a freelance sports writer who contributes to The Union regularly.
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