GALT – A killer third-quarter ended their season.
Members of the Forest Lake Christian girls basketball team walked into halftime with the game in their grasp, a shot at Division V Sac-Joaquin Section title game at Arco Arena within reach and redemption for an early- season loss on their platter.
The only problem was nobody told Bradshaw Christian (26-3) it was over, as the No. 1 seed Pride beat FLC 55-42 on the strength of a 18-3 third quarter.
It was the second time the Pride has beaten the Falcons this season, after a 51-45 victory Dec. 10, 2007.
The Falcons (18-10) had managed to do the unthinkable, holding the No. 1 seed to 18 first-half points and score 23 points of their own in the same time period against a team that allows an average of only 27 points per game.
“We knew coming out of halftime we would have a chance to fight back,” Bradshaw Christian coach Mike Ruble said. “We’re a young team.
“Forest Lake is a great team so we’re excited about this win.”
Bradshaw Christian’s girls responded to their destitute first half, by reeling off 12 straight points before an FLC free throw broke up the run. To compound FLC’s third-quarter troubles, Kayla Campora, the team’s leading rebounder and defensive presence, got into foul trouble. With four fouls on the books, she sat for the majority of the third quarter as the Falcons struggled to find any offense.
“We got a little tired and couldn’t stop ’em and they finally started going,” FLC coach Ken Holt said.
The Pride found their offensive spark in the middle of the lane with forward Lauren Beyer. She scored 16 points in the second half, most of which was on second-chance buckets.
Along with Jordie Smith, who scored 18 points, Beyer provided a problem for the Falcons with Campora out of the game.
“It hurt,” Holt said of the third quarter without Campora. “She does so much for us.”
Lindsey Engbrecht scored all three FLC third-quarter points on free throws. She finished with eight points on the night. The Falcons scored 16 fourth-quarter points, but it wasn’t good enough to stem an already hot team.
Kate Hoge led the Falcons with 12 points and Campora finished with 11 on the night.
Katie Fletcher, the team’s leading scorer and top 3-point shooter, added nine on a frustrating night and finish. But it didn’t dim her thoughts on the year the team has had.
“No one ever expected us to get here,” Fletcher said. “That’s different from any other season.”
And it gives hope for the team’s next season, under a coach who took over the team weeks into the preseason.
“We had a great season,” Holt said. “It’s hard, especially for seniors when it comes to an end like this. It’s good for those juniors, sophomores and freshmen for the experience. A game like this with a lot more noise, a lot more crowd noise, a lot more butterflies.
“So they obviously wanted to go to Arco but they’ll work hard over the summer and get better for next year.”
To contact Sports Writer Zuri Berry, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 477-4244.
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Grass Valley native Brad Sweet drove past the competition and into victory lane last week, snapping his longest winless streak of the season.