Foster girls hold back furious Fife rally
By Gerardo Bolong
FIFE - Foster built a sizable lead in the fourth quarter before repulsing a ferocious Fife rally on the way to a 50-45 SPSL 2A basketball win at Fife High School on Tues., Jan. 8.
Foster improved its North division record to 6-0 and 10-1 overall.
Leading 46-29 following a Meera Santos three-point goal with just more than three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs nearly gave up the ghost beginning with a three-point play from Breanna Hernandez.
Turnovers and a drop off in field goal shooting by Foster enabled the Trojans to keep the ball rolling for a 14-0 surge that was capped by an Alyce Sprenger rebound basket at the 43-second mark.
With the score 46-43, the seemingly safe lead was in dire jeopardy.
After the teams exhanged turnovers, Kaimyla Nolen was fouled in the back court as 31 seconds were left. Nolen converted both ends of a one-and-one free throw, but Mikaila Wise scored from inside nine seconds later.
Foster in bounded from back court and Makana Montoya swished two free throws with 16 seconds left. Fife was unable to score in the waning seconds.
”Our defense was better and we’re at full strength now,” Bulldog head coach Eric Smith said. “We have our point guard (Meera Santos) back, so we’re getting into playoff mode.”
Stalwart defense and three-balls from Precious Serafica and Amelie Pastores plus the emerging play from Nolen led to a 13-11 Foster lead after one quarter.
Stunning full court and half court defense forced Trojan turnovers, but the Bulldogs often reciprocated by immediately turning the ball back.
Makana Montoya followed Nolen’s corner three-pointer with one of her own to enlarge the Bulldog clearance to 19-12 and Amerie Pastores nailed a shot from beyond the arc to later make the score 22-14 before Hernandez scored for Fife just before halftime.
The Trojans set up lay ups to eventually tie the score at 23-all.
Nolen’s steal and nearly length of the court drive for a lay up after a Bulldog free throw was countered by two Mikaila Wise charity tosses.
Montoya’s three-pointer and a Diyhana Frazier free throw created a 30-25 margin with five seconds left in the half. Foster got the ball back as Frazier cast off from mid court to nail down the three and a 33-25 lead going into the fourth quarter.
At this point, the Bulldog defense and offense caught fire to grow the difference to 43-29 just ahead of the Santos three and the fiery concluding segment.
”Maybe I started subbing too soon,” concluded Smith. “They got a couple of baskets and we went cold. Our freshman (Nolen) stepped up for us. This was a great learning experience.”
Nolen broke out for 17 big points from outside and inside. Montoya closed with 12.
Hernandez paced Fife with 14 points.