Sierra women’s defense too much for Diablo Valley
Brandie Murrish’s strategy for the Sierra College women’s basketball team in their conference opener was stop the Big 8’s leading scorer and rebounder and that would also stop visiting Diablo Valley College. Although a closer game than expected, the plan worked to perfection for a 66-62 win Jan 8.
The Wolverines held the Vikings’ Annelise Ito (averaging 19.2 points, 11 boards) to 17-percent shooting, six turnovers and 10 boards. The defense of Michelle Walker (Colfax), Taylor Donnot (Del Oro) and Kayla Reeves (Placer) limited the DVC freshman to just one field goal.
“We knew a lot of their offense was run through (Ito),” Murrish said afterwards. “I thought our defense did a really good job of keeping her impact to a minimum. That allowed us to stop the drive and control the boards.”
The two teams came in with identical 9-5 preseason records, and Tuesday’s game was a back-and-forth affair that wasn’t decided until the final seconds.
Walker scored 13 in the first half to lead the Wolverines to a 32-26 advantage at the break. The 5-10 sophomore hit jumpers on three straight possessions and Reeves drained a three with 2:12 to go.
Sierra was 12-16 from the charity stripe in the second half – Ericka Magana and Walker were each 4-for-4. Free-throw shooting allowed the Wolverines to overcome a 22-70 night from the field and the Wolverines committed only 15 turnovers.
Walker led Sierra with 17 points, Kristie Williams had 13. Magana finished with 12 points and seven assists and Jasmine Shedrick also had 12 points.
“Michelle is our go-to post player,” Murrish said. “She really made a difference offensively and defensively tonight.”