Golden Eagles come from behind to beat Reedley in thrilling finish 62-61

By Ed Martin, Editor
Kim Alfors provided the winning points in a 62-61 win over Reedley Saturday night. Here she is shown making the winning shot.
Kim Alfors provided the winning points in a 62-61 win over Reedley Saturday night. Here she is shown making the winning shot.
Photo by Dennis Gallegos, West Hills College Lemoore

The West Hills College Lemoore Golden Eagles women’s basketball team continued its march toward post-season playoff action with a thrilling come-from-behind victory over favored Reedley College Saturday night.

Playing in the dimly-lit gym of the host Tigers, the Eagles’ Kim Alfors, a 5-8 guard out of Selma High School, turned in two outstanding plays in the final seconds to help her team defeat the Tigers 62-61 and improve to 5-4 in the Central Valley Conference, keeping the Eagles alive for a playoff spot.

With just 13.5 seconds left in the game, and WHC trailing 61-60, Reedley had the ball out of bounds with the Eagles pressing the inbound pass. The ball was thrown to a streaking Reedley player and Alfors, staying step in step, prevented the completion forcing the ball to sail out of bounds. Thanks to Alfors’ heads-up play the Eagles retained possession beneath Reedley’s basket.

Moments later, Alfors struck again when she got the inbound pass underneath and deftly banked it off for two points and a 62-61 victory.

The Eagles improved to 17-8 overall and will face Taft Community College this Saturday in the Golden Eagle Arena, the team’s final regular-season home game. The ladies also have games against Merced on Feb. 18 and conclude with Fresno City on Feb. 21.

The Eagles stayed close to the Tigers the entire game, but fell behind by 10 points in the first and second half. The Eagles kept hitting back and with three minutes remaining, Kalia Parker got the Eagles within two points at 55-53 with a 3-pointer. The Tigers scored on a 3-point shot before Alfors tossed in a three of her own to close the gap again to 58-56.

Samantha Earl finally tied the game at 58-58 with a shot from the top of the key, but with just 2:11 left the Pirates went up by three again 61-58. Former Lemoore High standout Kiesha Loftin forced a turnover and Parker picked it up to score on a layup to cut the gap to 61-60 and set up Alfors’ heroics.

“I think the girls understood the importance of this game,” said Golden Eagles’ coach Andra Picci, “for the playoffs, and how much it means to make the playoffs in only our third year. They just stuck with it and I think sometimes in sports you need a little bit of luck, but you also create it, and I think they did that tonight. They kept fighting and they didn’t give up. This was such a huge game for us, and hopefully will give us some confidence in our remaining games.”

Earl led the Eagles with 20 points including 10 in the second half. Alfors finished with seven points including the winning bucket while Parker had 11.

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