SHINGLE SPRINGS — Ponderosa’s timidity at various stages of its must-win game with Sheldon Tuesday was enough for the Huskies to go for the kill.
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Fighting for a postseason slot, the Lady Bruins had the home court, Senior Night and most of the crowd behind them but Sheldon, unfazed, emerged with the 69-49 Delta River League win.
“They’re just too much to handle, quick and we don’t match up with them very well,” Ponderosa coach Noel O’Donnell said. “Emotions were high and we threw everything at them but mistakes against a good team like that will cost you.”
The Bruins’ hesitancy cost them right off the bat but unlike its last outing against Pleasant Grove, Ponderosa quickly righted the ship. Behind the scoring of Danielle Craft, Maddie Clayton and Ashley Beck, the Bruins led 15-13 on Brooke Sinner’s runner that closed the first quarter.
Prior to tip-off, seniors Beck, Sinner, Stacy Godwin and Morgan Martinenko were acknowledged for their contributions to the program.
“We came out really excited and wanted to win but at times we gave up on ourselves but never the game,” the seniors said collectively. “They’re a good team and it seemed like if we did something good they did too.”
Ponderosa’s best moment came as it grabbed a 23-20 second-quarter advantage after Clayton hit three straight shots. The worst? Yielding the next 12 points — most on turnovers — as Sheldon led 32-23 at the half.
The Huskies slowly pulled away in the second half. Godwin’s two free throws had the Bruins within 42-34 late in the third but Sheldon closed on a 6-0 run and outscored Ponderosa 21-15 in the fourth. Hampering the Bruins in the eight-minute stretch was multiple attempts at the rim that failed to fall.
Craft led Ponderosa with 12 points; Godwin added 9; Clayton scored eight; Beck and Tiffany Nesterenko had six each; and Sinner and Martinenko, four each.
Ponderosa has a game at Folsom tonight and Oak Ridge next week. Win both and the Bruins are in the playoffs. If not their fate rests within the power rankings.