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Girls’ basketball sport shorts, 2006-07

WINTER SPORTS SHORTS–
(Latest basketball shorts will be at the top of the section. Scroll down to check out past results. Tournament games do not count toward win/loss record. Visit the Sports Section for basketball features)

For the 2006-07 girls’ basketball SWSL standing and stats, click here on MaxPreps SWSL girls’ basketball.

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL, 2006-2007–
No. 8 FC traveled to Hollywood but lost to No. 1 Pacific Hills, 51-25, on March 8. This was the first time in campus history a girls’ team qualified for the CIF Southern California Regional playoffs. FC’s overall record was 18-12 overall and 5-3 in the South West Sierra League as of March 8.

SEASON END

CIF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA REGIONAL, DIVISION V–
PACIFIC HILLS DEFEATS FC, 51-25, IN SECOND ROUND
No. 1 Pacific Hills defeated FC, 51-25, in the second round of the state playoffs on March 8. The Eagles faced a skilled opponenet in the Bruins, who played most of their season in Division III; FC was unable to keep up with the high-powered team.

Pacific Hills exploded in the first quarter scoring 21 points while shutting out the Eagles. The Bruins’ fast paced offense and aggressive press resulted in steals followed by fast-break layups, while intense defense prevented the Eagles from scoring. FC appeared intimidated, and was unable to keep the ball in their hands long enough to score.

Despite early blowout, the Eagles were determined to keep playing. In the second quarter, sophomore Larissa Hensley sunk a free-throw to give FC their first point of the game. By the end of the half, the Eagles made four more free-throws but were down by 20 points.

Though they had lost hopes of winning, the Eagles reufsed to quit and entered the second half with intensity and energy. FC stepped up their offense by playing with less timidity and managed to score the first basket of the half. Though they were outmatched, the Eagles fought throughout the second half to score 20 points.

Despite the dissapointment following the end of the season, the Eagles accomplishments in the post-season have been unmatched in school history.

Sophomore Emily Kreighoff led the Eagles with 6 points. For the most recent girls’ basketball feature, read Kristina Palmer’s Feb. 5 article, “Co-captains stress team unity”.

FC DEFEATS CHRISTIAN LIFE ACADEMY IN FIRST ROUND
For the first time in campus history, the girls’ basketball team qualified and then defeated an opponent at the CIF State Regionals. FC, seeded No. 8, hosted No. 9 Christian Life Academy and defeated the Knights, 65-44, on March 6.

While both teams came out strong and ran the ball up and down the court, the first minute ended with no score. The offenses clicked though and the teams traded baskets throughout the first quarter with neither team gaining an edge. The Eagles only had a three-point lead over the Knights, 18-15.

Both teams began the second quarter with a similar intensity. Kimmy Iverson of Christian Life enabled the Knights to keep the score close by scoring 18 points in the first half. Many were of the three-point variety. The teams were evenly matched during the second quarter, both scoring 16 points. At the end of the first half, the Eagles held on to a narrow 34-31 lead.

The beginning of the third quarter marked the turning point of the game. A technical foul followed by two personal fouls by the Knights allowed the Eagles to sink six free throws to expand their lead to nine points. FC then increased their focus on defense and shut down the Knight?s offense. The Eagles outscored the Knights, 15-5, in the decisive third.

One of the key Knights fouled out in the opening minutes of the third quarter, allowing the Eagles to press their advantage to score 15 points. By the start of the fourth quarter the Eagles had increased their lead to 13 points, 49-36.

With victory certain and only eight minutes away, the Eagles continued playing consistent basketball, shooting 41.9% from the floor and 67.7% on free throws. FC’s 2-3 defense allowed only eight points the fourth quarter, while shutting down Iverson, who despite leading the game in points, scored none the second half.

Sophomore Larissa Hensley led the Eagles with 16 points followed by Bonnie Hansen with 13. Hansen also pulled down 10 of the Eagles’ 65 rebounds in the game.

The lead allowed bench players to gain more playing time. Freshman Tatiana Fontes made an impact immediately, scoring five points within two minutes. Fontes’ play secured a 21-point lead in one of the Eagles? highest scoring games.

Sophomores Katie White and Candace Gondolfo and junior Annie Hawkins each scored 6 points. While Hensley seemed to be the general on the court, her supporting cast stepped up as the Eagles pulled away in the second half.

CENTRAL SECTION, DIVISION V FINALS–
MISSION PREP WINS DIVISION V 15th STRAIGHT CROWN
The Cinderella season is over for the campus girls’ basketball team but not after giving the No. 1 seed all they could handle in the finals of the Central Section Division V Championship at Selland Arena on March 2.

While No. 6 FC led much of the game, the Eagles could not sustain their defensive pressure and clutch scoring that characterized the first three quarters and Mission Prep won the championship, 55-45, for the 15th consecutive time.

FC, guided by sophomore Larissa Hensley, led most of the contest including 34-33 at the end of the third quarter.

“We were really excited throughout the game, ecpecially when we were ahead,” Hensley said.

But the Royals’ junior Leigh Yetter led the top-seeded visitors with 21 points while sophomore Jenna Caruso scored 16 of her 19 points in the second half. FC could not put the team from San Luis Obispo away despite a strong second quarter and looking confident going into half with a 24-19 lead.

But it was not meant to be.

While Hensley grabbed 7 rebounds, scored a game-high 23 points and senior Bonnie Hansen pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds, the Eagles fell behind when the Royals’ defense stiffened midway through the fourth.

“Bonnie played a big part in dominating the boards; FC had 56 to Mission’s 24 for the entire game,” Tosland said. “She added 7 points and had a great game.”

Mission Prep was clinging to a three-point lead with three minutes left when three straight Eagle offensive trips ended in turnovers, which turned into Royal points to a championship day.

“At the beginning, we felt really nervous, and then in the second quarter we started to tire. It was frustrating to constantly turn over the ball, and have to run back to defense,” Hensley said.

Hensley can look forward to a future on the basketball court.

“I am so happy for Larissa who is probably one of the most humble players I have coached and yet the most talented,” coach Josh Tosland said. “She doesn’t get enough credit for leading this team on the floor with her play.”

The game started with an Eagle turnover and Mission quickly scored putting FC down by three early in the first quarter. But Hensley proved to be their leader from the start. She turned the momentum down with her ball control and later gave the Eagles a 12-11 first quarter lead with a 25-foot, three-pointer buzzer-beater.

“The three-pointer was really motivating to our team, I think, and fired us up to try and win,” Hensley said.

According to her coach, Hensley keeps the team going and always makes up for a lot of other’s mistakes and often sets people up to score and then looks for herself to score.

“I am going to keep practicing over the summer, and hopefully get better,” Hensley said. “I can’t wait to comepte againg next year.”

The Eagles, playing in a Division V finals game for the first time, played with poise and confidence into the second quarter and extended their lead to 24-19 at half. Hensley scored 15 points in the first half and led a spirited team whose vocal crowd inspired them.

Game’s pace affects momentum, transition game

Yet the lead would not last. Mission Prep came out gunning for three-pointers in the third and closed the gap. FC was hanging on and only led by one, 34-33, by the end of the third quarter.

“I think anyone who saw the game knows that it was basically a two or three point game all the way to the 3-minute mark of the 4th quarter,” Tosland said. “Mission is a team that likes to run and so are we, so we just kept coming right back at them. Neither team let the other rest.”

While the score sheet shows a 10-point win for the Royals, the game was in doubt until 3 minutes remaining. And it appeared that the Eagles just ran out of energy.

“We tired and that led to some bad transition points for Mission and turnovers for us,” Tosland said. “Maybe we could have rotated a little more, but we felt that we had the best chance with who got us here.”

While Hensley was named FC’s player of the game, Tolsand felt she had a supporting cast worthy of playing in the finals.

“Katie White and Emily Krieghoff (sophomores) played significant roles as they were able to handle the speed and pressure of Mission by attacking them,” Tosland said. “Our girls were not back on their heels and showed that they can play with anyone.”

Junior Melanie Nachtigall scored 7 points to round out the top three Eagle point getters.

“The ladies should be proud of their great accomplishment and keep their heads high,” Tosland said. “They played with class on the biggest court of their basketball career so far and represented FC girls’ basketball very well. I am extremely proud of the entire team and very happy about the turnout and support from the students and faculty as well as parents.”

For a video clip of the game, go to the Videos section of The Feather.

FC was invited to play in the State Championships and will host Christian Life Academy from Escondido in the 2007 CIF State Basketball Championships on March 6 at 6 P.M.

FC DOWNS COAST UNION, 30-29, IN SEMIFINALS
No. 6 seed FC scored in the final seconds to clinch a position in the Division V finals when they defeated No. 2 Coast Union, 30-29, on Feb. 27.

Although the Eagles scored the first basket of the game, the Broncos tied the score within seconds. Neither team hit a high percent of their shots, which resulted in Coast Union’s, 6-4, lead at the end of the first quarter. Senior Kelsey Marston scored both of the baskets for the Eagles.

FC rebounded by tripling their first quarter score. Aggressive defense and rebounding created more opportunities for the Eagles, while they held the Broncos to 6 points in the second. The Eagles entered the locker room ahead, 16-12, at half.

A man-to-man defense and off shots contributed to a low-scoring third quarter for both teams. Each scored 5 points, but FC still led, 21-17.

The Broncos sank several 3-pointers to close the deficit in the fourth quarter. With seconds remaining in the game and the score tied at 27, Coast fouled point guard, sophomore Larissa Hensley. She missed the first and made the second free throw, giving FC a one-point edge.

“We were able to hold their leading scorer (Emily Dunn) to 12 points by being active on defense,” Hensley said. “We put ball pressure on her and were able to contain her. Our offense worked because we moved the ball quickly and drove whenever we got the chance.”

However, the Broncos scored 2 points to take the lead with 12 seconds left.

“They (Coast Union) were ecstatic that they pulled the lead, but our girls know one thing: no matter what happens, get the ball in and go quick,” coach Josh Tosland said. “That is part of our everyday game plan and the girls ran it to perfection. Hensley passed the ball cross-court to fellow sophomore Emily Krieghoff for the winning lay-up.

“Larissa got the ball and looked up court and sees a streaking Emily way ahead of everyone and is all by herself at the opponents 3?point line,” Tosland said. “Larissa let’s it fly and Emily does the rest with 4 seconds left. The emotions went from having a chance to win?to?oh no, not that?to no way, did that really just happen?”

For a video replay of the last minute, watch FC beats Coast in semis in the Videos section of The Feather Online.

As soon as Coast sank the shot, assistant coaches and fans were yelling for Tosland to call a timeout. And while he said he normally would do so, this time he let the girls play on.

“Trust me when I say, my natural instincts kicked in to call a timeout,” Tosland said. “However, I have seen too much basketball to know that if I gave Coast a chance to set up their defense, then we would have a hard time getting a good look.”

Melanie Nachtigall was a crucial part to the final play as she inbounded the ball and passed it in quickly to Hensley. Hensley saw a sprinting Krieghoff and lobbed her the ball for a left-handed layup.

“When Coast made the shot with 12 seconds to go, we thought Tosland (Josh, coach) was going to call a time-out,” Krieghoff said. “When he didn’t, I just ran and Larissa passed the ball to me at half court. I made the winning lay-up with four seconds to go. When I was going up for it, I was thinking ‘you better make this’; I was very nervous.”

Hensley led FC with 14 points and 9 rebounds and Marston scored 6 points.

“It feels good knowing we are seeded No. 6 and we have already beat the No. 2 and No. 3 teams in the tournament,” Marston said. “This gives us confidence for the final game against No. 1 Mission Prep.”

While there will not be a rooter bus for the March 2 finals game, students who have permission slips signed by parents or guardians will be allowed to leave school at 1 P.M. for the game. Tip-off is 2 P.M. at Selland Arena in downtown Fresno.

“We know we have a tough match against Mission Prep who is going for another title in hopes of continuing their winning streak,” Tosland said. “But we feel like we have been brought this far and we are going to do our best to try and stop it. The girls have been very positive in practice and excited about the chance to play in Selland Arena.

“We don’t necessarily know how we are going to compete with them, but it only takes one chance, on a certain day. This is a one game test to be the best. But we will take that opportunity any day.”

FC BEATS CVC, 45-30 IN QUARTERFINALS
Despite a number of Eagle players battling sickness, FC survived a slow start and went on to defeat No. 3 seed, CVC, 45-30, in the first round of the Central Section, Division V playoffs on Feb. 22.

Both teams made numerous errors, including missed jump shots and layups, but FC still led, 6-5, at the end of the first quarter. At the beginning of the second, the teams settled down and traded baskets throughout the second quarter as the offenses got untrack. Yet neither team maintained a clear advantage and they traded the lead back and forth. But the Eagles took a 19-17 lead at the half.

Sophomore Emily Kriehoff had a game-high 14 points and the Eagle defense began to control the boards in the third quarter and outscored the Cavaliers, 18-8, to take control of the game. Both teams reverted to a tight defensive style in the fourth quarter but FC still outscored CVC, 8-5, and won the game.

“Emily has been steadily improving on both sides of the ball and has already been top notch,” coach Josh Tosland said. “The coaches were waiting for a game like this out of her and we were fortunate enough to have it happen during playoffs. She hit some key shots at critical times as well as one when the shot clock expired.”

While Tosland felt his offense created some strong play, he praised the defensive effort of his girls.

“Our defense played excellent,” Tosland said. “Annie Hawkins (’07), Melanie Nachtigall (’08) and Katlyn White (’09) are just a few that were phenomenal defensively. They understood what our philosophy was on the defensive side and they really clamped down on CVC.”

Sophomore Larissa Hensley scored 10 points and Hawkins had 8 points. Nachtigall added 7 to round out the Eagle top four point getters. And while Tosland had good things to say about his point leaders, he smiled and added a comment about his youngest players as well.

“Melanie also hit a clutch 3-pointer when it looked as if some momentum could have started to change,” Tosland added. “The two girls that got called up from JV (freshmen Tatiana Fontes and Paige Maltos) got a chance to go in for a minute and they each got into the stat books with a couple of rebounds and a block.”

Every girl got to play in the playoff game and the team must now travel nearly three hours to play in the semifinals.

FC must next travel to Cambria to face No. 2 Coast Union on Feb. 27 at 7 P.M.

FC DOWNS CARUTHERS, 44-29, SECURES 2ND IN LEAGUE PLAY
With a chance to nail down second place in the South West Sierra League, the Eagles got out to an early 14-8 lead in the first quarter and held on to defeat Caruthers, 44-29, on Feb. 15.

At one point in the second quarter, the Eagles led by as many as 20 and led 28-12 at halftime.

“We dominated right from the tip,” coach Josh Tosland. “We were just doing a lot of things well in the first half. It was hard to keep the intensity up and Caruthers started chipping away at our lead by the end of the first half.”

Senior Kelsey Marston led the Eagle attack with 11 points but coach Tosland also praised another duo for the balanced Eagle attack.

“Larissa Hensley (’09) was making some great passes to a leaping Melanie Nachtigall (’07) where Caruthers had no option to stop,” Tosland said. “The coaches are really proud of this team and how they finished the regular season.”

Last year the girls’ basketball team’s overall record was 7-16 and 4-10 in league play.

“To go 10-3 in our league and neighboring league play says a lot about where we came from last year,” Tosland said. “Our post players have really improved from last year and our talent from JV has really given us some depth to this team.”

Holding a 16 point lead at the beginning of the second half, the Eagles alternated scoring with Caruthers for eight points each in the third.

Senior Annie Hawkins added 9 points while Bonnie Hansen’s 6 points rounded out the top FC offense.

“We are going into playoffs with some momemtum and we are anticipating a tough battle next week,” Tosland said. “We will find out on Saturday afternoon who and when we will play.”

FC DEFEATS LIBERTY, 50-42
With basketball entering its final week of play, the girls’ basketball team guarentees that they will finish with at least a .500 record.

FC played an intense away match against league rival, the Liberty Hawks. Both teams fought throughout the first quarter, but the Hawks lead, 16-13, at the close.

The Eagles defense was able to shut down Liberty allowing only five points in the second half, but their scoring also decreased to only 7 points. At the end of the first half, the Eagles were down, 20-21.

Led by sophomore Larissa Hensley’s 13 points, the Eagles gained an seven point lead.

Our girls really ran them into the ground,” coach Josh Tosland said. “Liberty was tired midway through the 3rd quarter. That is when we started pulling away from them. Larissa Hensley did a great job of pushing the tempo up the entire game.”

With one quarter to play, FC concentrated on defense and finished the game winning, 50-42.

“Our guards, especially Emily Krieghoff, did a good job of sprinting out and she was the recipient of some easy layups,” Tosland said. “The girls played with our strengths and the score looked closer than it actually was. Liberty really only had one good offensive option and we started to do a good job on her towards the end.”

The combined efforts of Liberty’s Lori Hill’s 21 points and Holly Gocka’s 14 points were not enough to overcome the visiting Eagles.

Sophomore Emily Krieghoff scored 8 points while junior Melanie Nachtigall and senior Bonnie Hansen added 7 each.

FC now is in 2nd place in the SWSL and will have a chance to stay there with a win over Caruthers on Feb. 15.

FC EVENS LEAGUE RECORD, BEATS RIVERDALE, 41-34, FEB. 9
After some missed opportunitites and a defensive blanket thrown over the offenses in the first quarter, the Eagles survived a late Riverdale rally in the fourth to defeat the Cowboys, 41-34, on Feb. 9.

The first quarter set the tone for the game as both teams consistently foiled the others’ offense. Riverdale did not score until the opening of the second quarter and FC only managed a field goal as both teams could not muster much offensively.

“We really didn’t do that good of a job against Riverdale,” coach Josh Tosland said. “We were fortunate enough to come away with a win.”

However, the Eagles clicked in the second and led, 13-7, at the half. Defensively, FC was led by senior Kelsey Marston’s 11 rebounds and one blocked shot. Seniors Annie Hawkins also had 9 rebounds while Bonnie Hansen pulled down 8 boards. Sophomores Emily Krieghoff and Larissa Hensley each had 5 rebounds as defensively the Eagles clamped down through the first three quarters of the game.

“Kelsey Marston was just awesome on the offensive side,” Tosland said, “and Katie White played a solid game on defense. Marston has been a force for two games now as some others are trying to find their own ways. We really are trying to get going in the hopes of playoffs.”

While the third and fourth quarters were mirror images of each other, the Eagles’ 30-18 third quarter lead was too much for the Cowboys to overcome. Marston led FC with 11 points while Hensley had 10 as the duo combined with Hansen’s 8 points led the Eagle attack. The Eagle attack also included Krieghoff’s 7 points.

The combination of Aimee Brooks (11 points) and Beth Bledsoe (10) clicked in the fourth but was not enough to overcome a 12 point Eagle led as Riverdale outscored the Eagles, 16-11, in the final frame.

“We are anticipating a rematch against Liberty (Feb. 13) who we feel stole a victory from us to open up league,” Tosland said.

FOWLER DEFEATS FC, 51-40, on FEB. 6
After FC’s overtime loss to Fowler in the previous match-up, the Eagles prepared for their second chance. However the Redcats remained consistent to defeat FC, 51-40, for the second time on Feb. 6.

The Eagles came out with energy, but seemed unable to perform. FC missed numerous lay-ups and turned over the ball as a result of rushed passes. Fowler took an early 8-0 lead, which made it difficult for the Eagles to catch up. Fowler pulled ahead 10-5 by the end of the first quarter.

FC came out in the second quarter eager to play. They came two points short of matching the Redcats? score, but still fell behind by 7 points, 23-16. After a break to refocus, FC came out ready to compete, but could not match Fowler?s play. The Redcats rebounded to gain scoring opportunities.

In the fourth quarter the Eagles fought back despite trailing by 8 points at the start. Even though the Eagles scored more than in previous quarters, the Redcats remained consistent to win, 51-40.

“Fowler was a solid team and didn’t make many mistakes,” Tosland said. “We played somewhat well except the fact that we couldn’t make any layups. We missed a lot of opportunities that would have made an impact on the game.”

Sophomore Larissa Hensley led the Eagles with 16 points and senior Kelsey Marston scored 11. Marston battled against Fowler?s leading scorer, Essence Scott and held her to 16, 10 points less than her previous score against FC.

FC DEFEATS NON-CONFERENCE FOE on FEB. 1
FC defeated Mendota 32-28 in a non-league game on Feb. 1. The first quarter started out slow as neither team scored in the opening minutes of the game. By the end of the relatively uneventful first quarter, neither team had gained a clear advantage with Aztecs leading, 8-7.

The Eagles appeared to reach a roadblock in the second quarter as they scored only 2 points while allowing Mendota to score 9. A lack of energy on the court and sluggish play defined the first half, and resulted in the Aztecs? leading, 17-9.

Changes in the line-up gave the team an energy boost and FC outscored Mendota in the third quarter, 8-3, narrowing the Aztecs lead to only three points, 20-17. With the outcome of the game on the line in the fourth quarter, the Eagles rose to the challenge by scoring 15 points, 2 points shy of matching their score for the previous three quarters.

“The second half starters were pulled within one minute because of a lack of execution and communication,” head coach Josh Tosland said. “Our subs came in and got us back in the game.”

FC tied the game and took the lead in the final minutes of the game. A shot off of a loose ball by sophomore Candace Gandalfo put the Eagles ahead, and two free throws by sophomore Larissa Hensley sealed the victory.

Senior Bonnie Hansen led the Eagles with 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Larissa Hensley added 8 points in the first game, which did not see a balanced Eagle attack.

The Eagles anticipated a tough match on Feb. 6 against the first plac,e D-4, Fowler Redcats.

“The girls have been playing less than they are capable of,” Tosland said. “The coaching staff is hopeful that they will snap out of it before Tuesday.”

FC EVENS SWSL RECORD, DEFEATS CARUTHERS, 43-33, on Jan. 30
The fourth quarter belonged to the Eagles and they downed Caruthers, 43-33, in a South West Sierra League match-up on Jan. 30. But the Eagles’ first quarter start did not match the momentum and energy of the second half.

Caruthers, who are still looking for their first league win, jumped out to a 8-5 first quarter lead as FC looked sluggish and out of sync. But as the second quarter progressed the home team picked up their game and only were down one point as the Cowboys led, 20-19 at halftime.

However, the Eagles played like a different team in the second half. Melanie Nachtigall led the Eagles with a game-high 10 points and Kelsey Marston made two key steals to ignite FC’s offense. By the end of the third quarter, FC led, 31-30, and the Eagles pulled away in the fourth, outscoring Caruthers, 12-4, to put the game away.

“The coaching staff was very proud of the way the girls responded to the challenge,” coach Josh Tosland said. “Our team wasn’t quite ready for an aggressive match, and yet still managed to do enough for the victory.”

Annie Hawkins scored 8 and Larissa Hensley added 7 points while Candace Gondolfo’s 5 points again proved balanced scoring is one of the best offensive plans.

“Katie White and Candace Gandolfo did a great job when our starting point guard, Larissa Hensley, was out with foul trouble,” coach Tosland said. “These two girls used their teammates well in breaking the press and not turning the ball over.”

Tosland said the team is anticipating a tough match against Mendota on Feb. 1; the Aztecs have already beaten everyone in the SWSL except for Fowler.

FC DEFEATS LEAGUE RIVAL, 45-34, on Jan. 26
After losing their first two South West Sierra League games by slim margins, the Eagles did not let the hosts or the home crowd undermine their desire for a first league win. The Eagles again rode a philosophy of balanced scoring and defeated Riverdale, 45-34, on Jan. 26.

Senior Bonnie Hansen has been a dominant offensive force for the Eagles over the last couple of weeks, led the Eagles with a game-high 13 points. The Cowboys were unable to stop the Eagle ball movement around the perimeter and FC put the ball in Hansen’s hands often as the visitors led, 10-5, after the first quarter.

“Bonnie, Annie Hawkins and Kelsey Marston, our only seniors, are really leading the team in all areas on and off the floor,” coach Tosland said. “They have led this team and we are seeing something special.”

Riverdale did settle down in the second quarter however and the teams traded baskets but FC still led, 18-13, at the half. But the Eagles came out flying in the third to take over the game. They seemed determined that this one would not slip away like the game against Fowler.

The third belonged to FC as they outscored Riverdale 16-10 to pull away. With Hansen in the middle as a prime target, Melanie Nachtigal’s 10 points and Larissa Hensley’s 8 points created a balanced attack that Riverdale was unable to contain.

“Melanie Nachtigall steadily is becoming a force in the league with her ‘no fear attitude,'” coach Josh Tosland said. “Even after being knocked to the floor repeatedly, she still is determined on the offensive side of the floor.”

Nachtigall was 8-12 at the line and the Eagles scored 22 points from the free throw line.

The teams traded baskets in the fourth as each scored 11 but the game was already out of reach for the Cowboys. Annie Hawkins added 7 points while Katie White and Candace Gondolfo each had 3 for the Eagles. Overall, 7 Eagles got on the score sheet.

“The coaching staff is getting a chance to see something special,” coach Tosland said. “We also are seeing some of the best attitudes and support from some of our second stringers like Brittany Lauber and Ellie Mullins. They are the ultimate team players and they are some of the reasons why we pick ourselves up.”

Riverdale was led by Janae Errotbere who had 10 points while Aimee Brooks had 9.

EAGLES LOSE TO FOWLER IN OVERTIME, 68-64, on Jan. 23
FC lost to Fowler in overtime, 68-64, on Jan. 23. The Eagles focused on man-on-man defense. Despite foul trouble FC led the first half, 12-7. The Eagles widened the deficit, 30-22 in the second quarter, while holding the Redcats leading scorer, Essence Scott, to 6 points.

Senior Kelsey Marston had the job of guarding last year’s and possibly this year’s MVP in Scott.

“Kelsey was amazing last night,” coach Tosland said. “She pushed and frustrated Scott from the very beginning and it showed as Fowler was stunned in the first half.”

FC changed their defensive plan, hoping to limit Scott’s opportunities to score. But Fowler outscored the Eagles in the third quarter, narrowing FC’s lead, 41-37. Scott scored 22 points in the second half, which enabled the Redcats to send the game into overtime. Foul trouble endangered the Eagles and allowed Fowler to shoot free throws. By the end of the fourth quarter, the score was tied at 51-51.

“The whole team had a different mind set for the game,” coach Josh Tosland said. “They went in with one mission in mind: To leave everything out on the floor. The team played with an intensity that no one has seen in a while.”

Only until the final minutes of overtime did Fowler pull ahead, outscoring the Eagles, 11-6, and won the game, 68-64.

“Fowler had a hard time getting anything inside, especially the first half,” Tosland said. “The coaching staff was ecstatic with the energy we displayed. We couldn’t be more proud of our team.”

Many parents and fans in the stands were clapping in ovation for our team at halftime and after it was over. With a feel of a playoff game, FC put on their best performance but come up just short.

“Fowler’s coach said ‘I can’t wait until the next one’ after the game,” Tosland added. “We now know what we are capable of and are anticipating a rematch on Feb. 6 at FC. We are ready to do the same against Riverdale on Friday” (Jan. 26).

Sophomore Larissa Hensley scored 20 points and senior Annie Hawkins scored 13.

LIBERTY-MADERA DOWNS EAGLES, 49-43, on Jan. 19
Liberty’s 5-point first quarter lead proved to be the difference as the Hawks hung on to defeat FC, 49-43, on Jan. 19. While Liberty-Madera led throughout, the Hawks’ 17-12 first quarter lead proved to be the difference as the two teams played the rest of the game nearly dead even.

FC came within a couple of points of the Hawks a number of times throughout the first and second half but could not draw even. The Hawks outscored the Eagles, 11-10, in the second quarter and Liberty led, 28-22 at half. Holly Gocka led Liberty with a game-high 21 points.

The second half was dead even and the Eagles again made runs but only got within two points of the South West leaders. Liberty outscored FC, 13-12, in the third was the Eagles scored 9 to the Hawks’ 8 in the fourth.

Bonnie Hansen led FC with 18 points while Katie White had 6. Nine Eagles reached the score sheet as coach Josh Tosland continues to rotate players into the offense.

EAGLES BLOW OUT TIGERS, 71-28, on Jan. 16
FC defeated Tranquillity 71-28 in a non-league game on Jan. 16. The Eagles started the game with energy to led 24-6 at the end of the first quarter. The Eagles’ press break and defense resulted in multiple scoring opportunities and 21 steals.

“Melanie Nachtigall kept driving the ball and getting the defense to collapse and her teammates took advantage of that energy,” coach Josh Tosland said.”

FC finished the half, 39-16. The Eagles scored 21 points and held the Tigers to 4. FC started the fourth quarter leading 60-22. A large rebounding margin and high shot percentage allowed the Eagles to continue to add points to the board. Despite a running clock due to a 40-point lead, the team remained focus to score 11 points while holding Tranquillity to 6.

“Emily Krieghoff did a great job at point guard the second half getting steals (5) and pushing the ball up the court quickly,” coach Tosland added.

Senior captains Annie Hawkins (18 and 10) and Bonnie Hansen (12 and 10) led the team with double doubles while Larissa Hensley also added 14 points.

“This was our last game before we start league and we have won 8 out of 10,” Tosland said. “We have eagerly been waiting for this point for this Friday’s league opener at home verses Liberty. We know they have all their starters back from last year’s playoff team, so we anticipate a tough game. However, the coaching staff knows that we have been working hard for this and we are ready. We will see what the rest of the week brings.”

FC BEAT DOS PALOS, 53-33, on Jan. 11
FC broke away from Dos Palos in the second quarter to win, 54-33, in a non-league game on Jan. 11. Although the Eagles scored the first basket, FC was unable to pull ahead until midway through the second quarter. At the end of the first quarter, the Eagles led the Broncos, 14-13.

After a couple scoreless minutes in the second quarter, the Eagles scored 5-points straight to end the half, 24-19.

The Eagles changed to a 1-3-1 zone defense to shut the Broncos down in the third quarter. Junior Micaelah Aleman and sophomore Emily Krieghoff each had 4 steals, to create opportunities to score and hold Dos Palos to 5 points. The third quarter ended, 39-24.

“Our team was playing well, but in the 2nd half, Emily (Krieghoff) and Micaelah (Aleman) gave us some good minutes and helped break Dos Palos with their defense,” coach Josh Tosland said. “The team played for four quarters last night and the coaching staff is very happy with how the team is progressing.”

Foul trouble and traveling calls hindered the Broncos in the fourth quarter. The Eagles had numerous rebounds to prevent Dos Palos from scoring.

Sophomore Larissa Hensley led the Eagles with 15 points while senior Bonnie Hansen scored 11.

The Eagles have won 7 out of the last 9 games and the two losses were by only 2 points each.

“We are trying to get better each game and be ready for our league opener next Friday verses Liberty,” Tosland said.

FC DEFEATS AVENAL, 53-34, on Jan. 9
FC defeated Avenal 53-34 in a non-league game on Jan. 9. In a slow first quarter the team scored 5-points to Avenal?s 10. The Eagles rallied to a 22-point second quarter, fighting through foul trouble and a technical by coach Josh Tosland.

As a result of increased offensive rebounds and an improved shooting percentage, FC took an 11-point lead by the end of the first half, 27-16.

The Eagles came out with more energy in the second half, increasing the lead in the first minutes of the third quarter. However, by the end of the quarter the Buccaneers rallied to a 7-point streak in which they held FC from scoring. The Eagles retaliated and gained a 19-point lead, to win 53-34.

“Our offensive rebounds and pushing the ball up the court were the keys to getting back into the game,” coach Josh Tosland said. “We were really proud of Bonnie Hansen who is quietly becoming a threat out there every game.”

Hanson led the Eagles with 14 points, 9 rebounds while sophomore Larissa Hensley scored 11 points and also grabbed 9 rebounds.

“We got down to a score of 12-5 early in the 2nd quarter, but then made some adjustments and went on a 22-4 run to take a halftime lead 27-16,” coach Tosland said. “We clamped down on defense and really started being more aggressive on the offensive end.”

Melanie Nachtigall also scored 9 points and led the Eagles with 11 rebounds.

FC BLOWS OUT FIREBAUGH, 52-27, on Jan. 5
In their first home game of the new year, FC came out firing and never faltered as they routed Firebaugh, 52-27, on Jan. 5. The Eagles jumped out to an 11-2 first quarter lead and powered to a 30-7 halftime advantage.

This is not a team that only relies on a single player to score. Ten FC players scored as the team continues to move the ball around the court. While Larissa Hensley leads the team in scoring, her teammates have been more than just a supporting cast.

Hensley lead all players with 15 points but Michelle Nachtigall and Kelsey Marston each had 8 points.

While Firebaugh was able to adjust in the second half, FC coach Josh Tosland played the whole bench and the Eagles still outscored the visitors, 13-8, in the third quarter. Jordan Dubeau led Firebaugh with 9 points.

Brittany Lauber scored 5 points while Candace Gondolfo had 4 points for FC but the Eagles concentrated on defense in the fourth.

FC COMEBACK FALLS 2 POINTS SHORT, CVC WINS 39-37, on Jan. 2
After falling behind, 20-12 at halftime, the Eagles fought back to within 2 points but CVC held on and defeated FC, 39-37, on Jan. 2.

Christina Martinez led the Cavaliers with 15 points while Larissa Hensley had 10 points to pace the Eagles. The Eagles continue to distribute the scoring as 8 players hit the score sheet.

The comback began in the third when FC outscored CVC, 13-11, and set the stage for the fourth when the Eagles outscored the Cavaliers, 12-8. Melanie Nachtigall had 7 points while Emily Krieghoff added 6 in the loss.

FRESNO CHRISTIAN CHRISTMAS CLASSIC on Dec. 20-23
FC WINS THIRD PLACE, DEFEATS DOS PALOS, 56-30, on Dec. 23
FC outscored Dos Palos in each quarter to place third in the FC Christmas Classic on Dec. 23. Sophomore Larissa Hensley scored a season-high 21 points to pace the Eagles to a 56-30 win. Hensley was also named to the All-tournament team.

With two team captains already gone for Christmas vacation, Hensley filled in as captain and JV post player, freshman Paige Maltos, started her first varsity game and made a difference.

“Paige immediately made an impact coming in shooting 4 for 6 from the field and having 6 rebounds in very few minutes,” coach Josh Tosland said. “She was an energy boost to the whole team as no one even expected her to play.”

Junior Candace Gondolfo had 7 points while Emily Krieghoff and Kelsey Marston each added 6 to lead the Eagles.

“The entire team played very well, but sophomores Katlyn White and Emily Krieghoff were outstanding,” coach Tosland added. “They both had to guard the fastest and best guards in the tournament. They held Broncos’ guard Portia Rivers (8 points) to her lowest point total and frustrated her the entire game as she picked up four fouls in the first half. They created the opportunity to pull ahead early as Dos Palos really couldn’t get anything started.”

FC has not placed in the top three in a tournament in many years. McFarland won the tournament when they defeated Chowchilla, 37-35.

MCFARLAND DEFEATS FC, 45-36, on Dec. 22
McFarland jumped out to a 17-8 first quarter lead and survived a strong third quarter comeback to beat the Eagles, 45-36, on Dec. 22.

“The start of the 2nd half, we adjusted to man defense and we started to dominate them and stop their scoring,” coach Josh Tosland said. “We outscored them 15 to 6 in the 3rd quarter, but for some reason, we could only muster up 4 pts in the fourth quarter which was a case of poor shooting and solid play from McFarland.”

The Cougars were led by Stephanie Douseroux’s 14 points and Kishna Gorman’s 12 points.

While FC was down 31-17 at half time, and trailed by only by 4 early in the fourth quarter, even Larissa Hensley’s 15 points and Michelle Nachtigall’s 9 were not enough. The Eagles were also only 7-13 from the free throw line.

FC DOMINATES STRATHMORE, 50-23, on Dec. 21
The Eagles outscored Strathmore during each quarter and doubled up the Spartans, 50-23 on Dec. 21. Melanie Nachtigall continued her strong play to lead the Eagles who have now won three straight after a close loss to Garces on Dec. 15.

FC led 13-9 after the first quarter and 27-17 at halftime. While the Eagles had trouble containing Spartan forward, Laura Lopez, who scored 23 points, the Spartans did not have an answer for the Eagles’ ball movement and multifaceted scoring.

Nachtigall had her first double double with 13 and 11 rebounds but two teammates also scored in double figures. Annie Hawkins scored 12 points while Larissa Hensley added 11 as FC scoring was equally distributed. Bonnie Hansen had 5 points and 4 other Eagles scored.

FC dominated the second half outscoring the Spartans 14-6 in the third and 9-5 in the fourth, getting everyone playing time.

FC OVERWHELMS KINGS CHRISTIAN, 64-13, on Dec. 20
In the opening game of the FC Christmas Classic, FC came out with a stiffling defence and did not allow the Crusaders a point until the closing seconds of the first half. The Eagles went on to defeat Kings Christian of Lemoore, 64-13, on Dec. 20.

“There was not a lot to say having so much success,” coach Josh Tosland said. “The team is getting better each day and they are starting to work together. This could be very interesting if we continue this way.”

Melanie Nachtigall was a force on the boards, grabbing 11 rebounds to lead both teams. Larissa Hensley, the Eagles’ leading scorer, did not have a point until the second half and then finished with 12.

FC led 36-1 at halftime with Annie Hawkins leading all players with a game-high 16 points. And while the Crusaders played better in the second half, FC still outscored them 13-8 in the third quarter and 15-4 in the fourth to dominate the game from beginning to end.

Bonnie Hansen had 6 rebounds but also finished with 11 points which gave the Eagles a one-two-three punch up front. By game’s end, nine Eagles had points.

FC takes on Strathmore on Dec. 21. Tosland said the game against the Spartans would be a much tougher match-up for the Eagles.

CENTRAL VALLEY CHRISTMAS CLASSIC on Dec. 11-16
FC BEATS OROSI, 54-22, for 9th PLACE in the CVC TOURNAMENT on Dec. 16
Behind Larissa Hensley’s 15 points, the Eagles rebounded from yesterday’s earlier loss and beat Orosi, 54-22, to finish 9th in the CVC Christmas Classic on Dec. 16.

“Everyone played great today,” coach Josh Tosland said. “We had a hard time keeping our intensity as we had a lead of 19-4 after the 1st quarter. We kind of let up against this team who really lacked some firepower against us.”

While Eagle turnovers continue to be a problem, FC was strong on the boards as Bonnie Hansen grabbed 11 rebounds and scored 12 points to give FC a one-two punch up front.

“We didn’t shoot that well from the free throw line again as we were 6-13, and we had 30 turnovers that were mostly unforced,” Tosland said.

However, it was the rebounding that kept FC rolling in the game as Annie Hawkins supported Hansen and also had 12 rebounds and scored 6 points.

“In the last few games, captains Bonnie Hansen and Annie Hawkins have really been dominating the boards as Larissa and Katie White have been playing very good on the outside.”

White finished with 8 points to round out the top Eagle point-getters. The basketball team will next host the Fresno Christian Holiday Championships, Dec. 20-23.

GARCES DEFEATS FC, 39-33, in 4th ROUND OF CVC TOURNAMENT on Dec. 15
The third quarter was the difference in this 4th round game of the tournament as Garces took advantage of poor Eagle shooting and outscored FC, 11-3. While the Eagles were able to keep pace with the Rams in the 4th quarter, the point spread was too much to overcome.

FC actually led 19-17 at half time after a strong second quarter when they outscored Garces, 13-8. Larissa Hensley paced the Eagles’ offense with 11 points as the Eagles surged to the lead at half. However, the third quarter turned momentum into the Rams’ favor.

“The entire team gave a great effort and outrebounded Garces,” coach Josh Tosland said. “We shot the ball better than we have, but still needed a little more firepower in a low scoring affair. We held Garces 9-0 to their lowest point total of the tournament and played our most physical game yet. The girls really seemed to get up for this game; it’s just too bad we were a little short.”

Sophomores Katie White and Emily Krieghofs also added 6 points a piece to round out the Eagle leading scorers.

FC LOSES to TULARE, 49-39, in 3rd ROUND OF CVC TOURNAMENT on Dec. 12
Tulare Union outscored the Eagles in three quarters sending the Eagles to their third game of the CVC Christmas Classic, 39-49, on Dec. 14.

In the first quarter, Tulare led with a score of 12-9, and nearly duplicated that score in the second quarter, leading 23-14 at half. FC commited 15 turnovers which turned the tide of the game.

“Tulare played a good game as they were always under control and they were never in threat of losing the game, FC coach Josh Tosland said.”

FC were able to run with the Redskins in the second half but could not overcome halftime deficit. While the Eagles were down 37-26 by third quarter’s end Tulare had the game in hand.

“Our team gave a fight for only two quarters of the game,” coach Tosland said. “They started out sluggish and again we were in a shooting slump going 12 for 51 from the field. We are playing very well on the inside, but we are giving up a lot of outside shots and we ourselves are getting opportunities but not capitalizing yet.”

FC actually outscored the Redskins 13-12 in the fourth. Missed lay-ups and poor shooting percentage finally cost the Eagles the game.

Freshman Larissa Hensley led the Eagles with 14 points and 6 steals. Senior Bonnie Hansen with 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Danisha Martinez led the Redskins scoring 23 points, with Mayra Avitia adding 10 points.

FC LOSES to IMMANUEL, 43-28, in 2nd ROUND OF CVC TOURNAMENT on Dec. 12
Despite a 10-point deficit at half, missed shots in the fourth quarter gave FC their second loss of the tournament against Immanuel, 43-28, on Dec. 12.

“We got down early and couldn’t mount a big enough comeback,” coach Josh Tosland said. “Immanuel played very well at keeping us out of the perimeter and we had a hard time making out shots.”

FC was 9 for 47 shooting, which changed their game plan to draw fouls by driving the ball. The rival Eagles sent FC to the line 11 times. However, FC only converted 9 of 22.

After a low scoring third quarter, FC came out with more energy the fourth quarter to score 13 points. However, it wasn’t enough to rally FC, Immanuel won, 43-28.

“Our bench players really made a big impact to get ourselves back into the game,” Tosland said, “they really played well and contributed quality minutes. Having a deep team will prove helpful when league starts. We were a little overmatched here, but the girls gained a lot of knowledge that will be useful. We have Tulare on Thursday and we are hoping to come ready to compete.”

Senior Annie Hawkins and sophomore Larrisa Hensley scored 8 points each and senior Bonnie Hansen crashed the board for 8 rebounds.

LINDSAY BEATS FC IN FINAL SECONDS, 34-33, in 1st ROUND OF CVC TOURNAMENT on Dec. 11
With six seconds remaining, Lindsay’s Stevi Ibarra shot two free throws to send the Cardinals to a one-point, come-from-behind victory in the first round of the CVC Christmas Classic on Dec. 11. Lindsay’s comeback started early in the fourth and they erased a 15-point Eagle lead and won on Ibarra’s shots to win the game, 34-33.

Ibarra finished with 9 points while fellow Cardinal, Cassie Manning, had 8.

The lead changed hands a number of times in the game but the teams were tied at 5 at the end of the first quarter. At half the Eagles led 16-14.

“I was really proud of the way the girls played,” coach Josh Tosland said. “We were down by 9 in the second quarter and came back and took the lead before halftime.”

FC turned the game around in the third quarter to lead 29-14.

“With a lot of momentum, we outscored Lindsay 14-4 in the 3rd quarter to take an 11 point lead going into the 4th,” Tosland said. “However, Lindsay started hitting some outside shots early in the fourth, while we couldn’t hit anything.”

FC’s shooting went cold through the whole 4th quarter and the team was unable to match the aggressive Cardinal defense.

“We had plenty of opportunities to win it, but just couldn’t seal the win,” Tosland added. “Going 4-9 on free throws in the 4th quarter didn’t help either. This team has a lot of heart, and we will be ready for a rematch of Immanuel.”

The Eagles were led by Larrisa Hensley’s 13 points and 9 rebounds while Emily Krieghoff added 7 points and 7 rebounds.

EAGLES BEAT LATON, 55-22, on Dec. 5
FC broke through Laton’s offense with numerous steals and rebounds to win, 55-22, on Dec. 5.

FC’s press-break resulted in an early lead in the first quarter, 14-3. In the second quarter the Mustangs scored 6 points while limiting the Eagles to 7. FC entered the locker room, 21-9.

“We are a fun team to watch and we are just going to try and get better each game as we are preparing for league, coach Josh Tosland said.

In the third quarter the Eagles outscored the Mustangs, 20-5, ending the quarter, 41-14. Despite 8 out of 17 successful free-throw attempts, every Eagle that played scored at least 2 points. FC’s defense held Laton’s regular high scorer, Markie Grider, to 4 points. The Eagles led the fourth quarter, 14-8, resulting in FC’s first preseason victory, 55-22.

“This year we have a deep team and this night our bench put up 20 points,” coach Tosland said. “Everyone contributed very well. Katie White is doing a fantastic job running the team from the point and she has really pushed the tempo to a high speed game. Our defense really frustrated Laton throughout the entire game and our post players came up big winning the rebounding battle.”

Sophomore Larissa Hensley led FC with 18 points and 7 rebounds while senior Bonnie Hansen scored 7 points.

IMMANUEL DEFEATS FC, 32-24, on Dec. 1
Missed shots cost FC their first preseason game as Immanuel defeated the Eagles, 32-24, on Dec. 1.

FC made 9 out of 40 attempted 2-point shots; they were 2 for 6 on three-pointers and did not make any of their 4 free-throws. In addition, the girls turned the ball over 19 times.

By the end of the first quarter, the rival Eagles led, 5-2. In the second, Immanuel increased their lead to 4, and entered the locker room, 11-7.

In the third, FC limited Immanuel’s points defensively and outscored the rival Eagles, 11-10. However, FC trailed, 21-18. The rival Eagles broke through the FC defense, to win 32, 24.

“I think as a team, we played very well for our first game,” Micaelah Aleman, ’08, said. “Our strength was our defense; we need to work on our shots. Our passes were good, except the lobs. We did pretty good overall.”

Sophomore Larissa Hensley led FC with 9 points and 10 rebounds and sophomore Katlyn White scored 5 points.

“Immanuel capitalized on a lot of unforced turnovers where as FC missed their own chances,” Coach Josh Tosland said.

FC will play Immanuel again next Tuesday at the CVC Invitational on Dec. 12.

MADERA-SOUTH FORFEITS GAME
Madera-South cancelled their scheduled game against FC on Nov. 27.

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