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Tigers make history

Mya Wilson steals the ball and powers down the court to score for the Tigers. Photos by Mari Erin Roth

The Portola girls took their league championship title and turned it into the Northern Section CIF championship title and then went on to make Portola history to win their first playoff game in the state championship beating the Upper Lake Cougars by a score of 77-58 on March 3 in Portola.

The Tigers took the lead in the first period 19-12. The Cougars came back to outscore PHS by 3 points in the second quarter, but not enough to take the lead, 35-31.

Portola pulled out all the stops in the third quarter scoring 24 points, double the Cougar 12. The score was 59-43. In the fourth quarter, the Tigers maintained superior scoring with 18 to the Cougar 15.

Senior Margaret Canseco led the Tiger scoring with 21 points. Junior Mya Wilson scored 17, junior Sophie Ward scored 15 and senior Emily Sheridan scored 12 points. Abby Klemesrud added 7 points, Mikayla Segna 4 and Micaela Coronado put up 1.

Ward scored all her 15 points with crowd-pleasing long 3-pointer shots, five of them hitting the mark. Wilson sank a pair of long shots and Klemesrud scored with one.

The lady Tigers traveled to Redding to play in round two of state championships March 6 facing the number one seed team from West Valley High School, the Eagles. After a fierce battle, West Valley came out the victor by a close score of 54-47.

The Eagles took the lead in the first quarter 15-10 and outscored the Tigers by 5 points again in the second quarter ending, 29-19. The Eagles widened their lead in the third quarter by 7 more points, 46-29.

The Tigers rallied hard in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Eagles by 10 points, to fall just 7 points shy of a tie and 8 short for the win.

“Was really proud of how hard the girls competed,” said head coach Chip Wilson. “West Valley came out in a full court, trapping zone and I definitely could have put the girls in a better position to beat that zone. Because of that we had some uncharacteristic turnovers that really hurt us.”

Mya Wilson scored 20 points and had four assists, Margaret Canseco scored 10 and pulled down 12 rebounds. Sophie Ward scored 6 points, and Annie Folchi and Emily Sheridan had 5 points each. “We were able to make a few runs throughout the game to close the gap but they were able to take advantage of some turnovers to keep the game out of reach,” said coach Wilson.

It has been an amazing season for the Portola lady Tigers. Coach Wilson has had one great first season coaching the girls through their history-making win in state championships.

“I would like to give a big shout out to the entire community who rallied around this team with tremendous support. I’d also like to thank EPHC, the Portola Boosters Club and Jack over at High Sierra Gas for their generous donations last summer to really get our summer program going, along with Caleb and Grizzly Ranch for their support of our championship run,” said coach Wilson, “and one last thank you … to these girls. They did everything I asked and more, not only this season but starting back last spring and into the summer when they spent countless hours practicing and playing in summer league games to make themselves better. Girls you are the best! Thank you.”

Graduating seniors Margaret Canseco and Emily Sheridan will be sorely missed next year, but the balance of eight players remaining have a good strong base of experience for the 2021 season.

The West Valley Eagles moved on March 7 to meet the Redding team from University Prep in semifinals hoping for a chance at the ultimate state challenge to take place Thursday, March 12, at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento.

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