January 25, 2013
It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t pretty but the Sierra College women’s basketball team will take it. The Wolverines topped the visiting American River College Beavers 64-58 for their fourth consecutive Big 8 Conference win.
The Wolverines missed a boat-load of layups and easy shots in the first half, but, thanks to Kirstie Williams’ 13 points, held a 38-31 lead at the break. Sierra couldn’t finish the close-in shots but were effective from long range as they drained six opening-half treys, including two each from Williams and Ericka Magana.
Kayla Reeves hit for 11 loud points after intermission, including a big three with 6:32 left that put the Wolverines on top 58-47. But, the Beavers would gnaw away at the lead and would close to within 58-54 at the 5:06 mark. Thanks to a suddenly stingy Sierra defense, ARC would only score four more points, all within the 1:32 point.
Magana and Williams topped Sierra with 15 points apiece. Reeves was huge off the bench with 14.
January 22, 2013
Joie Camalo canned 17 second-half points to boost the Sierra College women’s basketball team to a crucial 77-62 Big 8 win at Cosumnes River College. The Wolverines, down to only eight healthy players, led 36-34 at halftime before pulling away midway through the second half.
Camalo opened the second with consecutive treys, but it was her third three just inside the 11-minute mark followed by back-to-back three-pointers from Kayla Reeves with 10:19 and 9:47 left that ignited the Wolverines (13-6, 4-1 Big 8). Reeves’ second three pushed Sierra to a 55-52 lead after the Hawks (11-7, 1-4) had claimed a 49-44 advantage at 13:01.
The Wolverine defense held the Hawks to only eight points in the final nine minutes, while Sierra rolled to 20 in the same span. Sierra finished with eight three-pointers, including four from Camalo and three from Reeves.
Sierra finished with five players in double figures, paced by Camalo’s game-high 21. Jasmine Shedrick finished with 14, followed by Michelle Walker with 12 and 11 each from Reeves and Kirstie Williams.
January 18, 2013
Any Wolverine fan looking at the scoreboard at halftime of the Sierra College women’s basketball team’s pivotal Big 8 tilt with San Joaquin Delta couldn’t help but feel a bit discouraged. Sierra was out-shot, out-rebounded and out-hustled in the first as the Mustangs built a 27-19 lead that wasn’t as close as the score indicated.
But, as any follower of the 2013 Wolverines can attest, never count this Sierra team out, not with 20 minutes left. Kayla Reeves brought Sierra (12-6, 3-1 Big 8)back with nine early-second-half points that include two big three pointers. But, it was the Wolverine “D” that overpowered Delta (11-6, 3-1).
Twice in the second – at the 12:28 and the 7:12 marks – the Mustangs went scoreless for four minutes. During that time, Sierra went from being down 37-31 to a 51-40 lead with just over two minutes left. Two free throws each from Reeves, Kirstie Williams and Joie Camalo inside the final minute secured Sierra’s win.
The biggest Sierra moment, however, came with 2:37 to go when post player Jasmine Shedrick banked in an NBA-range three as the shot clock expired. Shedrick’s shot – yes, she was heard to call out “bank” as the shot left her hand – ignited the Wolverine fans who packed Goto/Goldenberg Court.
Williams led the Wolverines with 13 points, followed by Reeves with 12 and nine each from Camalo and Christina Mandich.
January 15, 2013
The Sierra College women’s basketball team outscored host Sacramento City College 49-17 in the second half en route to a 78-40 Big 8 win. The Wolverines (11-6, 2-1 Big 8) needed a halftime “spanking” from Head Coach Brandie Murrish after sleepwalking through an uninspired opening stanza that had them on top of the last-place Panthers (4-10, 0-3) only 29-23 at the break.
Michelle Walker helped Sierra dominate the second with 11 points on her way to a game-high 19. Joie Camalo kept the Wolverines in front with 10 first-half points that included a game-opening three. Camalo finished with 15 for the game. Christina Mandich scored all nine of her points after the break.
Sierra outscored Sac City 23-9 from the charity stripe, including a perfect 10-10 in the first half. Walker was 11-12 from the line to help the Wolverines finish 23-27. Sierra converted its first 16 free throw attempts.
Jasmine Shedrick and Kirstie Williams joined Walker and Camalo in double figures with 10 points each.
January 11, 2013
The Sierra College women’s basketball team was up 35-31 at halftime of their Big 8 road game at Santa Rosa Junior College Friday night. That pretty much sums up the positives, as the depleted Wolverines fell 70-60 to the Bear Cubs.
Down to nine healthy players after starting forward Taylor Donnot (Del Oro High School) broke her femur in practice Wednesday to join fellow starter Dakota McLarnan (Oak Ridge) on the out-for-the-season sidelines, Sierra (10-6, 1-1 Big 8) stuck with the three-time defending conference champs for 20 minutes, before running out of gas and players.
Michelle Walker (Colfax), the Wolverines’ leading rebounder and second-leading scorer, picked up her fourth foul with just over four minutes gone in the second half. She wound up with 11 points and ten rebounds, but would only play eight minutes in the second, when the Wolverines needed her most. Walker fouled out with 7:40 to play and could only watch as the Bear Cubs (14-4, 2-0) wore a path to the charity stripe.
SRJC was 19-24 from the line in the second stanza, compared to Sierra’s 4-8 and would outscore the Wolverines 12-0 from the stripe in the game’s final eight minutes.
Kayla Reeves (Placer) led Sierra with 18 points, including three long-range treys. Kirstie Williams (Bella Vista) and Christina Mandich scored 10 each.
January 8, 2013
Brandie Murrish’s strategy for the Sierra College women’s basketball team in their Jan. 8th conference opener was simple: stop the Big 8’s leading scorer and rebounder and they’d stop the visiting Diablo Valley College Vikings. While the Wolverines executed their head coach’s game plan to perfection, their 66-62 win was far closer than anyone expected.
DVC’s heralded freshman post player Annelise Ito came into Tuesday night’s game averaging 19.3 points and 11 rebounds per contest. She left Rocklin with eight points on 17% shooting, six turnovers and 10 boards. The defensive effort of Michelle Walker (Colfax High School), Taylor Donnot (Del Oro) and Kayla Reeves (Placer) was so stifling that Ito made only a single field goal – at the 3:27 mark in the first half.
“We knew a lot of their offense was run through (Ito),” Murrish said afterwards. “Their on-ball screens are designed to isolate her. I thought our defense did a really good job of keeping her impact to a minimum. That allowed us to stop the drive and control the boards.”
Sierra has consistently been one of the state’s top programs during Murrish’s seven-year tenure, while DVC has only recently emerged from the depths of the Big 8’s cellar under third-year coach Ramaundo Vaughn. The two teams came in with identical 9-5 pre-season records, and Tuesday’s game was a back-and-forth affair that wasn’t decided until the final seconds.
While Walker, Donnot and Reeves were making life miserable for Ito, point guard Elena Ala was taking up the Viking scoring slack. Ala canned an array of jumpers on her way to 13 first-half points that single-handedly kept DVC in the game.
Murrish was not surprised. “Their starting five is solid at all positions,” she said. “Ala picked up their offense, but we’ll settle for jumpers and try to control the boards and the pace of the game.”
Walker had a huge offensive first half herself, scoring 13 to lead the Wolverines to a 32-26 advantage at the break. The 5-10 sophomore hit jumpers on three straight possessions inside the four-minute mark and Reeves drained a three with 2:12 to go that ignited the big Goto/Goldenberg Court crowd.
Sierra’s Kirstie Williams opened the second with a long three for a 35-26 Wolverine lead, but a pair of buckets by Ala and two treys from Adriana Joaquin brought the Vikings to within 41-38 moments later. Then Sierra’s Jasmine Shedrick took over.
The 6-1 Shedrick scored her eighth point of the second half with 9:05 left to stake Sierra to 56-48 lead. Joaquin then connected on her third three-pointer of the half to cut the Wolverine lead to 63-59 with 2:39 remaining. A pair of Ericka Magana free throws with 19.7 seconds to go iced the Wolverine victory.
Sierra was 12-16 from the charity stripe in the second half – Magana and Walker were each four for four – compared to DVC’s 7-11. That free throw shooting allowed the Wolverines to overcome a 31% (22-70) night from the field. Sierra committed only 15 turnovers to achieve one of their pre-game goals.
Magana finished with 12 points to go along with her game-high seven assists. Williams hit for 13 points and, according to Murrish, “controlled the tempo of the game all night.”
Shedrick came off the bench for 12 points and five rebounds, but it was Walker, who finished with a team-high 17 points and 11 boards, who made the biggest impact.
“Michelle is our go-to post player,” Murrish said. “She really made a difference offensively and defensively tonight. She had some good post players ahead of her last year and has had to wait her turn. She has stepped up nicely.”
November 16-18, 2012
The eighth rendition of the annual Sierra College women’s basketball tournament had a slightly different look to it, but still featured some of the top programs in California. This year’s six-team format had a pre-set schedule that focused on competitive matchups rather than winner’s and loser’s brackets. The result was three days of intriguing contests and a pair of undefeated teams: the Ohlone College Renegades and the host Sierra College Wolverines.
2012 Sierra Summit Shootout Day-by-Day Results
Friday, November 16
Game 1: Ohlone 53, Napa Valley 42
Game 2: Sierra 72, CCSF 66
Game 3: Moorpark 72, West Hills 24
Saturday, November 17
Game 1: Moorpark 67, CCSF 57
Game 2: Ohlone 51, West Hills 21
Game 3: Sierra 97, Napa Valley 51
Sunday, November 18
Game 1: Ohlone 50, Moorpark 40
Game 2: CCSF 76, Napa Valley 56
Game 3: Sierra 69, West Hills 48
Sierra College Game Highlights
Game one: Sierra 72, CCSF 66
It’s not often that a tournament host schedules its opener against the fifth-ranked team in the state, but that’s what Wolverine mentor, Brandie Murrish, did. Sierra, ranked 19th in the CCCWBCA state preseason poll looked at its matchup with City College of San Francisco as an early season test. The Wolverines passed.
After spotting the Rams a 5-0 lead two minutes into the game, Michelle Walker, Dakota McLarnan and Ericka Magana ignited a 22-11 Wolverine run that pushed Sierra to a 32-26 lead at the half. Magana was the catalyst, as she resembled a reincarnated Pete Maravich in hitting the wide-open Walker, McLarnan and Kayla Reeves for six three-pointers during the run. Mclarnan was particularly deadly from beyond as she drained four treys by the 8:18 mark.
Magana, Reeves and Walker were on fire to open the second as they led the Wolverines to a 59-40 lead with 10:45 to play. The Rams climbed back to make it 61-51 with 6:21 left and then took advantage of five clock-saving Wolverine fouls to hit 11 straight free throws to find themselves down only 68-61 with 2:38 on the clock. A three-pointer from Tatsiana Dashkevich and a bucket by Raquel Torres made it 68-66 with 1:15 to go. Both teams came up empty on their next possessions before Magana hit a huge bucket at: 27 and Walker sealed the Wolverine win with a pair of charity shots.
Walker finished with a game-high 27 points, followed by McLarnan, who connected on four of Sierra’s 10 three-pointers, with 15. Magana scored 11 big second-half points to finish with 13. Reeves made the most of her new sixth man role by contributing 10 points.
Game two: Sierra 97, Napa Valley 51
The Wolverines rode the momentum of their big win over CCSF to a rousing romp over Napa Valley Saturday night. Williams opened the game on fire as she canned three treys on her way to 13 first-half points. McLarnan continued her hot streak from beyond with a pair of early threes.
A 54-24 Sierra halftime advantage ensured every Wolverine would get playing time in the second stanza. All 12 Wolverines scored, but Reeves really rolled after intermission with 14 points. Williams led the way with 16 points and Magana had 14. McLarnan was one of four Wolverines – Raina Loya, Taylor Donnot and Christina Mandich were the others – who tallied eight points.
Sierra drained 14 three-pointers – seven in each half – to give them an astounding 24 through the first two games of the Summit.
Game three: Sierra 69, West Hills 48
West Hills coach Andrea Picchi brought her first-year Eagle program to Rocklin for their first-ever tournament. They returned to Lemoore with some valuable experience and a team that improved every day of the Summit. No team worked harder than West Hills and it showed Sunday.
While the freely substituting Wolverines were in command from the start, the Eagles equaled the offensive output of their first two Summit games combined and held Sierra to their fewest total points in the tourney.
Williams was again the difference in the first half as she hit four threes on her way to 14 points in the opening stanza. She would finish with a game-high 22. Reeves and Walker each tallied 10 points, while Loya and Magana had six apiece.
The Wolverines canned 10 threes against West hills, giving them 34 for the tourney.
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