The hometown rival Tracy and West high girls basketball teams played a fierce game Saturday as they contended for a third place at the Tom Hawkins/Tracy Breakfast Lions Tournament.
The Wolf Pack (9-5) came out on top, 54-46.
With Tracy Unified School District Superintendent Jim Franco announcing the play-by-play, West and Tracy kicked the game off nearly matching each other point for point. The first quarter ended with big cheers on the Tracy side as Jessica Riconscente beat the buzzer with a clean 3-point shot, pushing Tracy ahead 15-13.
The Bulldogs, whose performance against Tokay a day earlier seemed uninspired, seemingly switched gears for their game against West.
“The difference is like day and night,” said Tracy head coach Mike Granillo, Jr., after the game.
The second quarter started off strong for Tracy and ended in a series of fouls and successful rebound shots by both teams, making the score 27-23, the Bulldogs were out-performing the Wolf Pack.
“We didn’t play well,” admitted West coach Joe Lawrence, “but we got lucky in the end.”
The West girls found their collective stride somewhere in the third and fourth quarters. Wolf Pack guard Whitney Howard got the ball rolling by evening up the score with an easy lay-up shot that started a desperate struggle for points.
Howard totaled 12 points for the game, as did fellow top scorer Tiara Dunson. Both players showed their prowess as West gained the upper hand permanently in the fourth quarter, ending the game.
On the defensive side, Lawrence attributed the shift in power and win on having switched to a zone press strategy.
Whether it was the accurate shots or the defensive play, West distinguished itself in the end, making its third place standing wholly justified.
Tracy’s Marlene MacMillan was the top scorer for her team with 10 points. Nicole Powell and Jordan Averitte managed nine points apiece.
Coach Mike Granillo said he was impressed by how his team played.
“For me, the score was no indication of how the game was,” he said.
Both Tracy and West won their first two games of the tournament and lost their third.
Tracy’s game three opponent, Tokay High, was the eventual tournament champion, topping El Camino High on Saturday. West lost to El Camino on Friday, putting them in the running against Tracy for third place.
Tracy gets a shot at a rematch — and a measure of revenge — Wednesday against West High at 7:00 p.m. at Swenson Gym in another preseason game.
(S) Tracy 36, Tokay 27
The Tracy High sophomore girls basketball team didn’t have to score after the third quarter to against Tokay to take third place in the Sierra Tournament over the weekend. But 28 points didn’t seem like enough.
The Bullpups were pushed to their final point total by leading scorers Lindsey Phelps (eight) and Tai Kagehiro (seven).
Tracy next plays West High on Wednesday.