Lady Tigers' season ends in Bakersfield as Independence stifles Lemoore 57-33 in second round of Division II playoffs

By Ed Martin, Editor
Katelynn Cole hit key baskets in the Tigers come from behind victory over Tehachapi.
Katelynn Cole hit key baskets in the Tigers come from behind victory over Tehachapi.
Photo by Bill Burris, Photography for Kings County

The Lady Tigers season ended Thursday day with a 57-33 loss to Independence High School. The loss came on the heels of an thrilling come-from-behind victor over Tehachapi Tuesday night in Lemoore.

Against Independence, the Tigers stayed within striking distance in the first half and actually led 21-20 last in the first half before falling behind 28-21 at the half. Independance ran away from the Tigers in the second half, limiting Lemoore to just two points in the third quarter and taking a 47-23 lead entering the final period.

The Tigers earned the right to meet the Division II top seed by coming from behind to beat Tehachapi in a thrilling game in the LHS Event Center Tuesday night. Trailing by 11 points at one point in the second half, Lemoore’s varsity girls’ basketball team couldn’t quite get that spark it needed to keep within striking distance of visiting Tehachapi Tuesday night in the first round of the Division II Central Section girls’ basketball playoffs.

Taylor Vasquez help key the Tigers opening round playoff win.
Taylor Vasquez help key the Tigers opening round playoff win.
Photo by Bill Burris, Photography for Kings County

But once they found that spark, boy were they hard to stop.

CIF Division II Girls Playoff Brackets

The Tigers stormed from behind Tuesday night in the Event Center to win their first round matchup, an exciting 48-46 victory over the Warriors. Lemoore will hit the road for round two, a Thursday night matchup in Bakersfield against Independence High School. The Tigers will be facing the South Yosemite League champion Falcons, who went 10-0 in league and 23-2 overall.

“I just kept telling the girls, trust in the plays, trust in your shots and they’ll start falling,” said Tiger Head Coach Miguel Macias. “We had some really good looks, but the shots weren’t falling. The ball finally started falling for us.”

And boy did they fall.

But it took a heads up play by the Tigers’ center, Bobbie Henry, to seal the deal. With Lemoore trailing by just one point, 45-46 with 22 seconds left in the game, Tiger guard Katelynn Cole drove the lane and was fouled. The talented guard made the first free throw to tie the game at 46 all, but missed the second.

However, a scramble under the basket allowed Henry to force a jump ball, which the Tigers won. Cole got the ball, fired a short pass to the streaking Jazmine Taylor, who banked the ball into the basket for a 48-46 lead, and ultimately the win.

Cole led all Tiger scorers with 13 points including a pair of 3-point baskets that kept Lemoore in the contest. It was her three at the five-minute mark that got the Tigers to within two points at 36-38. The Warriors scored five straight points for a 43-36 lead before Cole connected again to cut the gap to 43-39.

The Tigers kept chipping away with Taylor Vasquez cutting the gap to 44-46 with her 3-point bomb with just 58 seconds left. She finished with seven points.

Monica Lopez had 11 points, including a pair of threes in the third quarter that kept Lemoore close.

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