With only three games left before the playoffs, Jaguar coach Miguel Granillo said the team (16-8, 7-4 Valley Oak League) concentrated on working the ball closer to the basket — a move that had the outside shooting team start slower than normal.
Kimball — which has the best points-per-game-average among all league team with 52 points per game — had a 24-13 lead at halftime.
According to Granillo, the team averages 15 to 20 3-point shots per game. The team attempted 10 3s on Tuesday. However, six of those shots came during the fourth quarter.
“We wanted to try and develop that inside game going in toward playoffs because we want to go from the inside out and get established scoring as much from the inside as from the outside,” he said.
In the second half, hard work under the basket by senior Megan Bhathal and sophomore Ayida Peters began to pay off as the girls’ shots began to drop.
Peters finished the game with 11 points, while Bhathal dropped a game-high 15 points — 12 of which came from within eight feet of the basket.
“We knew that getting the ball inside was going to be our game and that they couldn’t stop us,” Bhathal said. “I like to play physical in the post and that’s what you need when you’re in the post position. So I try to play that way and it went good.”
Sophomore Sarah Nunes also posted 11 points in the game for the Jaguars.
The win follows a narrow overtime loss, 48-47, to league leader Manteca on Jan. 31 in Manteca.
Trailing 32-28 at the end of three quarters, the Jaguars pulled even with the Buffaloes (17-6, 11-0 VOL), 38-38, to force overtime.
Manteca built a narrow lead and affirmed their first-place VOL standing with the lead. Sophomore Sarah Nunes led the Jaguars with 13 points.
Tracy 37, Chavez 30
Senior Shelby Perry scored 12 points for the Bulldogs and collected 16 rebounds to help the Bulldogs to a 37-30 win at Chavez High in Stockton on Tuesday, Feb. 5.
Tracy (15-10, 6-3 San Joaquin Athletic Association) held a 17-12 halftime lead, and the Titans (9-17. 3-6 SJAA) caught up in the third quarter. Tracy picked up the pace at the end to seal the win. Also leading Tracy was senior Emily Anchartechahar, who scored 10 points and had four assists.
The Bulldogs are ranked high enough in the Sac-Joaquin Section power ratings to make the 16-team Division II bracket, even after a 58-52 loss at home to first-place Lincoln (16-9, 8-0 SJAA) on Jan. 31.
Tracy senior forward Angela Mariani said her team had momentum early on, but Lincoln took it back at the end.
“Lincoln is a team that is always playing hard no matter what the score is,” Mariani said. “They always crash the boards and go hard at the basket, so it was hard to stop them tonight.”
Tracy coach Derek Solano added that his team was unable to capitalize on its many chances to hold an early lead.
“We’d pull in front and then let them get back into it,” Solano said. “We were throwing the ball away in the fourth quarter, trying to execute a couple looks that we had practiced, and we’d give the ball up.”
Tracy senior guard Karsi Fyfe hit four 3-pointers and was the night’s scoring leader with 20 points.
Edison 48, West 46
The West girls basketball team faced off against the Edison Vikings in a close contest on Tuesday, Feb. 5, at West High.
The Wolf Pack (10-16, 1-8 Tri-City Athletic League) trailed 36-34 going into the fourth quarter, and Edison (11-13, 3-6 TCAL) was able to stay ahead until senior guard Ileyah Costa and sophomore guard Sandy Barbosa each hit 3-point shots to put West up 42-41.
The teams were tied in the final minute. West missed the potential go-ahead shot, which allowed an Edison player to score with six seconds left.
“We just gave them too many shots,” West coach Joe Hernandez said. “They’d get second and third shots off of rebounds and we weren’t boxing out.”
Costa said the Wolf Pack still did well, and Tuesday’s game showed how the younger players are capable of staying focused.
“We can stay positive through a tight game, and we can stay calm and not let our emotions run away,” she said.
• Bob Brownne also contributed to this report.