A win over Oakdale during a play-in game on Monday meant that the Patterson High varsity girls basketball team earned the right to travel to Placer High to take on the number one seed of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III bracket.

Placer has put up an incredible 2019-20 season. With a 25-2 record overall and a perfect 10-0 record, Placer went on to win the Foothill Valley League. Their only two losses came early in the season. The last time Placer lost a game was on Dec. 12 against Enterprise High, meaning they entered Tuesday’s game versus Patterson riding an impressive 20-game win streak.

Although Patterson gave Placer a fight, the Tigers were unable to pull off the upset, losing 55-49.

The game was close through the first quarter. Placer held a slim 13-11 advantage after the opening frame, but the Placer offense broke out with 25 points in the second quarter. Patterson tried to keep pace, but were outscored 25-16 in the second, and went into halftime down 38-27 overall.

Patterson notably did not quit on this game. The Tigers outscored the home side 11-8 in the third quarter, to trim the deficit down to 46-38 by the end of the frame. Patterson replicated that with an 11-9 fourth quarter, but the deficit incurred in the second quarter proved to be too much to overcome.

Tigers defeat Oakdale

In order to earn the right to play number one seed Placer, the Tigers had to first get past visiting Oakdale High on Feb. 17 at Dave Klein Gymnasium.

Patterson’s defense gave Oakdale fits, leading to a dominant 59-35 victory, for the Tigers’ first playoff victory since Feb. 20, 2018’s win against Manteca High.

Patterson never trailed in their game versus Oakdale on Monday. They hopped out to an 18-3 lead after the first quarter of play, and by halftime owned a 34-16 lead. The defense was stifling the Mustangs during their half court set plays, leading to tough shot after tough shot.

“Well we knew they were a really good shooting team, so we knew that we had to do a better job closing out. That way they didn’t get those wide-open looks,” head coach Elizabeth Tolleson said following the win. “They live and die by the three-point line. As long as we took care of the perimeter, I knew we would be fine inside the paint.”

The 59 points posted by the offense was the most in a single game since their 58-13 victory over Central Valley on Jan. 11.

The Tigers were led in scoring by sophomore Emma Medina with 10 points. Senior Amirah Okitukunda posted nine points.

Oakdale sophomore Aidyn Hill led all scorers with 11 points for the Mustangs.

PI sports writer

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