Thursday, Feb. 07, 2013
Tigers need to win out after loss to Ceres
By David Witte / email@example.com
Both Ceres and Los Banos came into their game Tuesday needing every win to make an impact on the power ratings the section uses for playoff seedings.
It was Ceres that made the dent with a 51-45 win behind 32 points from forward Bryce Ford.
"I think it puts a damper in the guarantee entry," Los Banos coach Danny Crosby said. "I think we need to win out, and hope and pray that everything else works out for us."
In the Sac-Joaquin Section's final power rankings released Feb. 4, the Tigers were ranked 16th in Division 4 -- where 16 teams go to the playoffs. Ceres was ranked 14th in Division 3.
"It's looking better and better for us," Ceres coach Vanessa Morris said. "We just need to make sure we win on Thursday to solidify our position, our playoff berth. It's been a while for us."
Ceres hasn't gone to the playoffs since a first-round exit in 2009, when the Bulldogs qualified out of the Valley Oak League. Los Banos has exited in the first round each of the last two years. Should the Tigers miss the playoffs, it would be the first time in Crosby's high school coaching career (he coached more than a decade at Le Grand before coming to LB).
After trailing 23-17 against Ceres at halftime, Los Banos took the lead on a pair of Jacquelin Arretche free throws early in the third quarter. The third quarter saw seven lead changes and ended on a 34-34 tie.
"We came out with a little bit more intensity in the third quarter," Crosby said. "I think we were a little flat in the first 12 minutes of the game. The whole emotional thing of it being senior night played a role. Don't want to make excuses, but that played a role and we were flat in the beginning."
The momentum appeared to be LB's when guard Tiffany Liu drained a 3-pointer to start the fourth, but Ceres fought back and, after a couple more lead changes, took the lead for good on a Ford bucket. A Los Banos technical foul sparked a 6-point Ceres run.
"We had a good game with them when we went over there," Crosby said. "We had a 17-point lead at their place an they came back and beat us by one, so we expected a good game from them this time."
Los Banos went into foul mode in the final minute of the game, but Ceres hit 4 of 8 free throws down the stretch to keep the Tigers at bay.
"One thing about my team is we never give up. You saw that tonight," Morris said. "We may get down and commit some turnovers, but we never give up."
Los Banos finishes the season with a cross-town matchup against Pacheco (results were unavailable at press time) and a road game against Livingston on Feb. 12.
Pacheco dropped a 43-37 loss to Central Valley on Tuesday to remain winless in WAC play, and hosts league-leading Patterson on Feb. 12.
Enterprise reporter David Witte can be reached by phone at 388-6565 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org