The College of the Siskiyous offense had one good quarter against the Hancock College defense Friday night.
One good quarter was enough.
It was enough because the Siskiyous defense was even better than its offense was in the fourth quarter. The Eagles stayed unbeaten by out-scoring the Bulldogs 18-5 in the last 8:14 to pull off a 58-54 win in the winner's bracket of Hancock's Lady Bulldog Classic at Hancock's Joe White Memorial Gymnasium.
"We had 'em," Hancock coach Cary Nerelli said ruefully after seeing the Eagles move to 6-0 and his own team fall to 5-3.
"As frustrated as I feel, I'm sure (my players) are even more frustrated. Siskiyous is a highly-rated team in the North every year. You have to remember how young we are. We have to learn how to close games like this, and hopefully that will come with time.
"The big thing will be how we react (Saturday in the third-place game)."
Kacey Cain made a driving layup with 2:34 to play to put Siskyous ahead 51-50, the Eagles' first lead since the 6:11 mark of the second quarter. Siskiyous scored on three of its last five possessions after that and stayed ahead.
The Eagles will play Glendale Community College for the championship at 3 p.m. Saturday. The Vaqueros beat Merritt College 66-40 in the other winner's bracket game Friday night.
Hancock will play Merritt for third place at 1 p.m. Saturday.
In Friday consolation bracket games, Los Angles Harbor College edged Orange Coast College 59-58 and Santa Barbara City College defeated Santa Ana College 48-38.
Harbor and Santa Barbara will play at 11 a.m. Saturday for fifth place.
Guard Lynden Harry scored all of the last seven Siskiyous points, and she was the high scorer for the game with 25. Ashley Cox and Aleia Milano scored 10 points each for the Eagles.
Kylie Mendez led the Bulldogs with 16 points. Danielle Morgan had 14 points and 14 rebounds for Hancock, and Tashara Pruett scored 12 points. Willow Bailey snared 10 rebounds for the Bulldogs, who out-rebounded the Eagles 48-33.
Siskiyous won in large part because the Eagles were 11-for-15 on free throws to the Bulldogs' six-for-nine. Milano made both her foul shots, and Cox was 3-for-4.
Mendez went 3-for-4 on 3-point shots. The rest of the Hancock team was a combined 1-for-10.
The Eagles weathered an 11-for-41 night on 3-point shots after going 18-for-34 from beyond the arc against Harbor the night before.
Bailey connected in the lane to give Hancock a 49-36 lead at the 8:14 mark of the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs came up empty on their next nine possessions.
The Bulldogs looked even more out of sorts on offense the last 8:14 than the Eagles, who scored 109 points against Harbor Thursday, had looked on offense most of the way.
"That's going to happen whenever two good teams play each other," Nerelli said of the long droughts for each team.
"It's like a boxing match. Both teams are going to probe, seeing where the weaknesses are. We did a good job of that coming out of halftime, and they did a better job of that coming out of the third quarter."
Hancock fattened what had been a 31-29 halftime lead to a 47-36 advantage to start the fourth quarter. The Eagles were scoreless in the second half until Milano hit a '3' with 23.5 seconds left in the third quarter.
The Bulldogs tried to work the shot clock most of the way. That worked fine (at least when they weren't committing one of their 23 turnovers) when the Bulldogs were ahead but when they needed points in a hurry late, they couldn't get them.
Hancock missed some of the same shots as the fourth quarter wore on that the Bulldogs had made earlier. Pruett, shooting in the lane, was five-for-seven in the first half and one-for-five in the second.
"We missed a lot of gimmees," said Nerelli.
Harry was the one Eagle who hit the '3' consistently in the first half, going four-for-eight on treys then. The rest of the team was a combined two-for-15 on '3's before intermission.
Harry delivered again, with 12 points, in the second half and that is a big reason her squad is still perfect for the season.
Glendale 66, Merritt 40
The Vaqueros (7-1) broke this one open by out-scoring T-Birds (2-7) 22-5 in the second quarter.
Glendale's reserves scored 48 points and two of those reserves, Esmeralda Perez and Sarah Perez, led the Vaqueros with 16 and 11 points respectively. Esmeralda Perez led all scorers.
Ayreauna Williams scored 15 points for Merritt, and Markalah Hadley had 12.
L.A. Harbor 59, Orange Coast 58
Madison Innis made a driving layup with 32 seconds left for the winning basket then the Seahawks (5-5) held off the Pirates (0-6).
There was a wild sequence of events as the game wound down. The teams traded turnovers then the Seahawks, near the mid-court line, threw away the inbounds pass into their backcourt. The Pirates couldn't corral the ball to get off a last-chance shot in time.
Brion Turner scored 17 points and pulled down 16 rebounds for the Seahawks. Innis put in 13 points and snared a game high 20 rebounds. Shanara Goldsmith added eight points and 16 rebounds for Harbor.
Jalisa Simons led all scorers with 25 points for the Pirates. Raelynn Denson had 14. Simons pulled down 12 rebounds, and Denson and Niveen Khreisha grabbed 10 apiece for the Pirates.
Santa Barbara 48, Santa Ana 38
The Vaqueros (7-2) led 36-27 when the fourth quarter started and they eased in from there for a win over the Dons (3-7).
Aaliyah Pauling scored a game high 18 points for Santa Barbara. She was also the leading rebounder, with eight rebounds.
Megan Moor scored 10 points for the Vaqueros. Lexi Ross led the Dons with 12.
The game was turnover-filled. Santa Barbara turned the ball over 29 times, and Santa Ana had 27.
Paso Robles 82, Santa Maria 66
The Saints (3-5) made 15 3-point shots but came up well short against the Bearcats (4-3) in a non-league game between two Central Section Division 2 teams at Santa Maria's Wilson Gym.
"It was a back-and-forth game through the fourth quarter until we had to start fouling down the stretch," Santa Maria coach Dave Yamate said in an e-mail.
Thomas Segel poured in 32 points and made eight 3-pointers for the Saints. Genaro Morales racked up 12 points and four rebounds, and Rolando Pina had 12 points and six rebounds.
"Our 3 p.m. game (Saturday) against (Santa Barbara) Providence has been cancelled because of their coach being in the hospital with health concerns, and it will be re-scheduled," Yamate said in the email.