||Last Updated: Feb 4, 2015 - 12:35:55 PM
As its done all year, the College of the Redwoods women’s basketball team gave everything it had, but, this time, came up short, losing to Chabot 82-77 on Wednesday night in Eureka in the first round of the Northern California Regional state playoffs.
CR led 39-35 at halftime behind a strong performance from sophomore center Hannah Hurley, who scored 17 of her game-high 26 points in the first half.
She also finished with 15 rebounds in her best offensive game of the season.
“Rebounding was the key for me tonight,” Hurley said. “I just kept finding pockets and if I couldn’t get the ball, I just tried to tip it to keep it alive.”
After the break, however, Hurley picked up her third and fourth personal fouls in the first two minutes and went to the bench, and seconds later, CR lost the services of its leading scorer Lili Herrera, who tweaked her injured right knee and left the game without being able to put weight on it.
With just six players remaining (one of them with four fouls) and 18 minutes to go, CR scrambled to stay in the game, which the Corsairs did with a strong defensive effort, but it was Chabot’s Greer Kleber who changed the outcome for her team, scoring 16 of her team-high 21 points in the second half to lead the charge.
Chabot outscored Redwoods 47-38 in the second half as CR played the final eight minutes of the game with only five players because two had fouled out.
Herrera, who finished with 14 points (11 in the second half), came back in the game midway through the final period, providing an immediate spark with a basket and a foul, but strong free-throw shooting from the Gladiators down the stretch sealed the win.
“Once again the kids gave everything they possibly had to give,” said a disappointed CR head coach Doug Oliveira. “We never quit, which, from a coach’s perspective, is all you can ask. We got compliments all year from other teams and coaches that it really didn’t matter what the score was, we were going to play hard no matter what and I couldn’t be more proud of this team for that.”
CR, which finishes the year at 12-14 overall, made its second postseason appearance in the past three years.
It was just the team’s 11th playoff berth in the program’s 39-year history, but already the second under Oliveira, who completes his fourth year as head coach.
“The end came sooner than we wanted but at the end of it all, only one team gets to win its last game,” Oliveira said. “After a while the sting of this loss will go away and what the kids will be left with is the memory that they made it to the state playoffs and they should be proud.”
With the win, Chabot advances to face the No. 1 seed in the Northern California region, San Joaquin Delta, on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Chabot 82, Redwoods 77
CH- 35 47- 82
CR- 39 38- 77
Scoring- (CR) Herrera 14, Dutra 9, Ward 4, Christy 12, Gray 13, Hurley 26
3-pointers- (CR) Herrera, Dutra, Gray 3
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