|Korey Cline looks toward the hoop while being guarded by Anna Roach in last week’s matchup|
The Tigers faced the Trojans on Tuesday night in a crowded andnoisyhome gym. The game was intense from the beginning, with the Trojans outscoring the Tigers 14-11 in the opening act.
Quincy’ssenior forward Korey Cline was unstoppable, netting 10 of her team’s 14 first-period points. The Lady Tigers turned up the heat in the second frame with senior guard Ellie Kibble hitting a jumper at the buzzer to even the score at 22 apiece at intermission.
Portola struggled at the charity lineduring the first half, making onlytwo of eight tosses and missing an opportunity to take the lead into the locker room.
Both teams came out determined in the second half and added eight points each to play to a 30-30 tie by the end of the third period.
In the final stanza, the LadyTrojans slowly pulled ahead, and with about three minutes remaining, held an eight point lead. The Lady Cats once again failed to capitalize on free throw opportunities, hitting only two of 13 attempts during the second half.
Trojan senior center Ashlee Nieman turned in a brilliant second period, scoring the bulk of her 19 points to keep Quincy ahead. As the game clock ticked down, the Trojans smelled victory, and continued to increase their lead over an ever more frustrated Tiger squad. The Red and White came out on top by 13 at the final horn, 47-34.
“That was a huge game for us,” said Quincy coach Kent Grammer. “We’re still on cloud nine over that win. That makes our season.”
Free throw shooting was a significant factor in the outcome. The Lady Cats scored just four points in 23 trips to the line, as the Trojans shot 11 out of 19 for a net advantage of seven points. In addition, while the Tigers minimized offensive turnovers, Quincy neutralized the powerful Tiger rebounders.
“We were very good at rebounding,” said Grammer. “Our three girls below were phenomenal.”
Cline totaled 15 rebounds for the Trojans, while Katie Barnes claimed 10 and Neiman grabbed nine.
For Portola, Emma Briggs snatched 10 rebounds, while teammates Anna Roach and Lucy Wilbanks and earned seven apiece.
Leading the scoring for the Trojans were Nieman draining 19, Cline putting through 15, senior guard Brittany Wilcox netting seven and senior forward Barnes contributing four.
“We’re playing as a team,” said Grammer. “It shows out on the court — the girls want to win.”
Scoring was widely distributed for the Lady Tigers, with junior forward Marissa Wehrman tallying seven, Briggs and Kibble scoring six each, Roach putting in five and Wilbanks and Bailey Holt hitting four apiece.
At Williams on Friday, thePortola squad notched its fifth league victory against no losses by swatting down the Yellow Jackets58-29.
TheCats leaped out to a 26-point lead by intermission, 35-9. However, the Jackets got tougher in the third period, gaining two points on the Tigers. Senior point guard Abby Cranford drained several 3-pointers to keep Williams from losing ground.
It wasn’t enough however, as Portola pulled down a season high of 56 rebounds, and drained 11 of 18 charity tosses.Thefinal score of 58-29 gave the Lady Cats a 22-3 record overall, with a 5-0 record in the Mid-Valley South League.
Top scorers for the Tigers were Briggs tallying 14, Wehrman and Roach sinking nine apiece, Wilbanks putting through eight and senior center Camry Housel netting six.
As forthe battle of the boards, high rebounders were Kibble snagging 12, Wehrman collecting 10, Wilbanks grabbing nine and Bailey Holt pulling down eight.
ThePortola girls play their final game of the regular season this Friday, Feb. 18, at home against East Nicolaus.
The Quincy Trojans wrap up their regular season this Friday at Hamilton.