Wildcats’ notch victory over Cordova with second half surge

Willis, McConnell fuel comeback
By: Joshua Gutierrez/Placer Herald Correspondent
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The Whitney girls basketball team used a strong rally after the first half to notch their second Capital Athletic League victory. The ‘Cats defeated visiting Cordova 45-38 last Thursday.

Halfway through their CAL schedule, the Wildcats are 2-3 and sit midway in the standings chasing Rio Americano (5-0) and El Camino (4-1).

As the opening period got under way, neither team was able to establish their game plan as each turned the ball over six times and shot less than 35 percent.

Giveaway’s continued to trouble the Wildcats with five-straight turnovers to begin the second period. By the end of the half, Whitney had 16 turnovers and trailed the Lancers 19-13 at intermission.

“They were disguising their defense. We didn’t know if they were in man or zone,” said Whitney head coach Andy Carter. “So in the second half we made adjustments to better attack their scheme.”

Key to Whitney’s improved offensive attack in the second half were the duo of Molly McConnell and Sami Willis.

Willis controlled the low post, as the sophomore shot 4-for-4 from the floor to start the half. Her efforts included a lead-changing basket late in the third period. Willis ended her night with 12 points.

In the final quarter, Cordova retook the lead when Whitney suffered a five-minute scoring drought. However, Shelbi Meyer got the ‘Cats going again with a game-tying layup.

McConnell followed a possession later to take back the lead for Whitney. With about a minute remaining, the senior showed her athleticism by cutting through the visitor’s defense for a one-handed layup over two Lancers.

Following a flagrant foul on an inbounds pass, Alanna Scott sank two free throws to seal the game.

“I think it’s huge,” said McConnell of the win. “We came off a couple of home losses. It’s good to get that confidence, especially going forward.”

McConnell led the Wildcats in scoring with 17.


In a game played Jan. 22, the visiting Eagles came ready to soar and helped maintain their second-place position in the CAL just one game behind Rio Americano.

Statistically, the Wildcats matched up pretty well with El Camino but just couldn’t get off the shots. Although both clubs hit around 35 percent of their field goals, the Eagles put up 72 attempts to Whitney’s 46.

The visitors had a slight edge in turnovers and steals whereas the maroon-and-gold held the margin on rebounds.

Willis led the team in scoring with 15; Scott had 14, hitting 3-5 on 3-point attempts.


Lancers          8          11        10          9 – 38

Wildcats         6          7          19        13 – 45



Cordova 15-64, 5-12, 38, 3Pt 3-7. 3Pts 3-7. Whitney 19-49, 7-18, 45, 3Pt 0-10.

Turnovers – C 21, W 22.



Whitney – McConnell 7-14, 3-6, 17, 3Pt 0-2, Willis 6-12, 0-2, 12, Meyer 3-6, 1-4, 7.



Feb. 1 – Mira Loma, 7:30 pm (last home game)