WATSONVILLE - It had the makings of a championship bout. The way the players played and the fans reacted, it seemed that way.
The Christopher High girls basketball team held on in the final few minutes of a topsy turvy Watsonville Tournament opener as it defeated Monte Vista Christian 51-45 on Thursday.
It was a rematch of last season's Monterey Bay League tournament championship. Much like then, Christopher prevailed in a tense contest.
There were four lead changes in the fourth quarter. Trailing 44-42, Savhannah Nevin hit a close-range shot to tie the game at 44-all. After a steal, Mikaela Coffelt was fouled and hit one of two free throws to give the Mustangs a 45-44 advantage.
Christopher brought the ball down with 1:42 to play and couldn't find an opening. Down to 5 seconds on the shot clock, Olivia Tabron found herself in the corner with two Mustangs closing in. She fired up a three-pointer, and the ball swished in, giving Christopher a 47-45 lead.
Monte Vista Christian couldn't respond, and the Cougars held on for the win.
The Mustangs' defense shut down Christopher in the first 12 minutes of the game as they led 12-5. But Christopher soon went on a 12-1 run to take a 17-13 lead with 1:38 to go in the second quarter.
Back-to-back baskets, including a layup by Myckenzie Toler, pulled Monte Vista Christian even at 17-17 just as the halftime buzzer sounded.
Toler had 19 points while Sydney Beadle had 11 points to lead the Mustangs.
St. Francis Central Coast Catholic 68, Gonzales 30: The Sharks made five of their first six shot attempts and never looked back in rolling past Gonzales.
St. Francis scored the first 21 points of the game and didn't allow Gonzales to score until 3:26 to play in the first quarter. St. Francis' defense forced Gonzales to miss its first eight shots of the game.
All of the St. Francis players got to participate in the game, and the team did its best to get everyone points.
Such was the case in the fourth quarter when Kristin Korba tried to make a three-pointer but missed. Her teammates kept giving her the ball with the hopes she'd score. With 2:35 to play in the fourth quarter, Korba banked in a shot, much to delight of her teammates.
Lauren Price had 16 points, Kim Hammill and Toni Vargas each had 11 points and Sonja Shumake had 12 points in the win.
The Sharks will face Christopher in the tournament semifinals on Friday at 6:30 p.m.
* Hollister 56, Watsonville 25: The Haybalers shut down the tournament hosts with their defense and advanced to the semifinals.
Sonya Cervantes had nine points, six coming in teh first half. Brianna Cueva had six points in the paint.
The Wildcatz had a brief run, scoring seven points in a span of two minutes to cut their deficit to 43-25 with 4:58 to play in the game. Hollister's defense did not allow the Wildcatz to score the rest of the game.
Watsonville will play Santa Cruz at 5 p.m. today in the consolation semifinals.For the complete article see the 12-08-2012 issue.
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