Whitney comeback stuns Roseville in overtime

Tigers’ caution proves costly
By: Joshua Gutierrez/Placer Herald Correspondent
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The Whitney High varsity girls basketball team came away with an improbable overtime victory against the visiting Roseville Tigers, 51-47, Dec. 18.

Holding a slim lead, Roseville slowed the game in the final quarter to run out the clock. The added pressure appeared to work as the Wildcats opened the period 0-for-8 from the floor.

However, the Tigers took just six shots and scored only seven points in the last eight minutes.

“It wasn’t necessarily what they did, as much as what we didn’t do,” said Roseville head coach Ron Volk. “If we kept our game plan together from the first three quarters, I wouldn’t be here talking about this loss.”

The Wildcats didn’t take a lead until Alanna Scott hit a 3-pointer in overtime. Roseville had at one time led by as many as 10 points during regulation play.

Whitney’s Julianna Ress waited until the last quarter to take her first shot but scored six points in the final two minutes. The game remained in doubt until the sophomore sent the game into overtime on two free throws with just five seconds left in the game.

“We practice free throws every day in practice,” said Ress. “I was just thinking to myself, just like in practice, just like in practice.”

Ress also scored a key basket in overtime. Roseville had closed the gap to one but Ress’ bucket gave the ‘Cats the momentum needed for the victory.

Whitney shot 6-24 from the floor in the first half and scored just 17 points. The third period didn’t start much better as the Wildcats turned the ball over eight times. Despite the ailing offense, Whitney’s Sara Rosales 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter cut Roseville’s lead to five.

Whitney head coach Andy Carter said his team’s missed assignments under the basket allowed the game to slip away early. But in the final minutes, the Wildcats capitalized on Roseville’s over-cautious play.

The home club forced the Tigers into some crucial turnovers. Carter and Co. improved his team’s shooting efficiency by using a triangle offense to take advantage of Roseville’s changes.

“We ended the game with four sophomores and a senior,” said Carter. “We’re only going to get better. We really grew today.”  

Center 60, Whitney 58

The Wildcats momentum wasn’t enough to get them by the Cougars in a game played Dec. 20 at Center.