The article below originally appeared in the American Chronicle and is being reprinted with permission.
For now, outscoring opponents will do.
Foothill College pulled away for a 93-57 in the opening round of its Pepsi Holiday Classic as its up-tempo style proved too much for Shasta.
“We have the ability to sustain maximum effort for close to 40 minutes because of our depth,” Foothill coach Jody Craig said. “And I think a lot of teams have trouble playing at that same level for 40 minutes.”
The Owls (13-3), ranked No. 2 in the North and No. 7 in the state, are riding an eight-game winning streak that relies on piling on the points.
The effort on the glass and the other end of the floor is still a work in progress.
“We constantly have to remind ourselves about doing some of the dirty work to compete with all the teams that we’re going to face next year,” Craig said.
Today’s semifinal opponent will be Los Medanos, the No. 5-ranked team in the North and a 49-41 winner over College of the Sequoias. Tipoff is at 6 p.m.
Los Medanos (12-3) will have to slow Foothill sophomore Kindra Jones, a 6-3 post player who scored 25 points in Tuesday’s win.
“When we establish a presence
inside like we did tonight, and we have the complete package of an inside-outside game, we’re going to be a tough team to beat,” Craig said.
Rasehell Contreras, the Owls’ leading scorer for the season, contributed 15 points while teammate Addie Schivo added 14 points. Devin Brown made it four Owls in double figures with 10 points.
College of San Mateo fell into the consolation bracket after an 84-57 loss to Sierra.
“To be honest, I think we just got outplayed,” CSM coach Michelle Warner said. “Nothing much else we could say about that.”
Just over three weeks ago, CSM beat Sierra 63-46. But this time around CSM (5-8) shot 29 percent from the field and only Vanessa Castillo managed to reach double digits with 12 points.
The post presence of Trish Malaspina was nullified by a pair of quick fouls while LeShay Wallace was forced to sit on the bench due to foul trouble.
“Them sitting hurt us,” Warner said. “We didn’t have much inside presence with them two out.
CSM gets right back on the court at 2 p.m. against Butte, the No. 7 ream in the North but a 73-53 victim to Irvine Valley in the opening round.
Ten days ago the Bulldogs fell to Butte 83-82 in its own Tom Martinez Invitational. Now CSM has a chance to erase the memory of that defeat as well as Tuesday’s.
“It does no good to get frustrated,” Warner said. “You just have to keep playing.”
E-mail Vytas Mazeika at firstname.lastname@example.org.