Whittell girls b-ball finishes 2nd at John Holland Classic
WHITTELL INVITATIONAL BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
Dec. 9, 11-13 at Whittell
Tuesday, Dec. 9
Whittell girls/boys vs. Incline
Thursday, Dec. 11
6 p.m. — Whittell girls vs. Bishop
7:30 p.m. — Whittell boys vs. Owyhee
Friday, Dec. 12
6 p.m. — Whittell boys vs. Lee Vining
7:30 p.m. — Whittell girls vs. Fall River
Saturday, Dec. 13
10:30 a.m. — Whittell boys vs. Mammoth
4:30 p.m. — Whittell boys vs. Loyalton
6 p.m. — Whittell girls vs. Silver Stage
GREENVILLE, Calif. — The Whittell girls basketball team made it to the championship game of the John Holland Classic last Saturday — and ran into a tough opponent. The Warriors fell to Loyalton (Calif.) 46-6 at Greenville High to finish as runner-up in the tournament.
“I think we learned a good lesson in terms of confidence — when you have none, you’re going to get crushed,” Warriors head coach Tom Esposito said.
In the championship, Whittell (2-2) lost by 40 points to Loyalton. The Warriors trailed the Grizzlies 34-2 at halftime, and scored their only points in the first and fourth quarters.
“We got beat in the locker room,” Esposito said. “We played Loyalton in a scrimmage the week before, they pushed us around a little bit — and we were thoroughly convinced that we couldn’t hang with them.
“That’s the information we fed our bodies, and that’s exactly how we reacted.”
After beating Maxwell in its tournament opener last Thursday, Whittell advanced to the championship with a 50-31 win over host Greenville the following day. The Warriors led by three after the first quarter, and outscored the Indians 33-14 in the second and third quarters to take control of the game.
“We had a pretty good defensive performance — we did a good job,” Esposito said. “After the first quarter, we came out and intensified because we had the confidence — we really put the pressure on and forced a lot of turnovers in the second quarter.”
Eight Whittell players scored in the victory over Greenville, led by 10 points from guard Ali Copsy. Guard Kelsey Kjer and center Jordyn Becker each scored eight points while guards Gisselle Benitez, Daria Sharon and Samantha Fovilly added six apiece.
Whittell returned to action Tuesday night at home against Incline, its home opener and first game in the Whittell Invitational Basketball Tournament. The Warriors face Bishop (Calif.) on Thursday, play Fall River (McArthur, Calif.) on Friday and host Silver Stage (Silver Springs, Nev.) on Saturday.
“Incline is always a tough game for us — but if we can build off this Loyalton confidence thing, I think we’ll be okay,” Esposito said.