The Wolfpack defense stopped #5-ranked Bishop Amat’s prolific offense in the third and fourth periods of Saturday night’s CIF Southern Sections Girls Basketball Quarterfinal game. They now advance to the Semifinal game on Tuesday, March 4. Great Oak shut down the Lancers’ attack and held them scoreless for nearly 11 minutes in the second half to take control of the game.
Great Oak led Bishop Amat by seven points at the half but the Lancers came roaring back in the third period to take a 36-33 lead. That’s when the Wolfpack defense kicked in. With 3:08 left in the period, the Lancers could not find the basket. Great Oak held them scoreless until only 22 seconds remained in the game. By then it was all over.
The Wolfpack was led by junior Mikayla Williams who scored 21 points against the Lancers. Senior Roya Rustamzada added 17 points for Great Oak and sophomore playmaker Cheldon Alcantara guided the Wolfpack offense.
Bishop Amat senior guard Paulina Santana led the Lancers in scoring with 22 points. Seniors Dagmar Ramirez and Janae Chamois finished with nine points apiece against the Wolfpack.
The victory sends the Wolfpack into the CIF Southern Section-Ford Division 1A Semifinal Playoff game — Final Four –for the first time in school history. This was Great Oak’s fourth trip to the quarterfinals. They played in three successive games in 2007, 2008 and 2009 only to be stopped short.
Great Oak will be at home for the Semifinal Playoff game and will face Bonita High School. The Bearcats are the top seed in the tournament and the reigning Hacienda league champions. They have a record of 27-2 this season and crushed M.L. King 55-32 last night. The Wolfpack will have to find a way to stop seniors Nikki Wheatley and Kandyce Smith. Point guard Wheatley, who is the reigning player of the year for her area, scored 29 in the second round win over Rancho Cucamonga.
Underdog Great Oak fans know that whatever the odds, the Wolfpack is toughest when their backs are to the wall and especially playing at home in the Wolf’s Den. Go PACK!
Game time is 7pm.