Multiple Teams · Sierra girls basketball downed by TCA in key conference game

By: Jay Hahn

February 15, 2017 Updated: February 15, 2017 

Friday night’s varsity girl’s basketball game between the Sierra Lady Stallions and the Classical Academy Lady Titans was an exciting contest in more ways than one.

Both teams were 10-3 in conference play, knowing that the winner would end up taking second place in the league.
Sierra Head Coach Joe Williams recognized the importance of the game and said playing good teams with competition helps to mentally prepare his team for the playoffs.
“I am very proud of this team,” Williams said. “There is no quit in them, and they are getting better game by game.”
Williams said his team’s athleticism and defense, which fuel their running game and offense, have been critical to their success.
“We have an unselfish team and share the ball,” he said. “Four of our girls are averaging in double figures, so you can’t stop just one of them and hurt us.”
Williams, who lives in the Sierra-area community, said he feels privileged to coach his team. “I love the kids that we get to work with,” he said.
Senior Malaynah Peterson, a four-year varsity player, leads this year’s team as captain and starting point guard.
“This team is very special and has great chemistry,” Peterson said. “In the past, we would rely on our size, but this team’s strength is our quickness and speed.”
The game was also part of a special event at The Classical Academy called Hoops for Hope, a week-long fundraising effort started last year to raise money for cancer research at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The varsity game was the culminating event.
Williams said his team wore pink during pre-game warm ups in support of the TCA cause. “I lost my mom to cancer, so this is special to be a part of,” Williams said. “We would like to incorporate some of these ideas at Sierra as well.”
The game turned out to be a great match between two quality teams. TCA took complete control of the game, jumping out to an 18-0 lead. Sierra was having a hard time getting their running game going as TCA used its size to get second and third shots and control the boards.
In the second quarter, Sierra mounted a comeback utilizing their defense and running game. With the help of five unanswered points, they closed the gap to 29-16 at halftime.
Sierra continued to push the ball in the third quarter, and with the help of Aubrey Robinson’s five points in the quarter, cut the deficit to seven points. TCA maintained a 36-26 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Sierra picked up their defensive intensity and began to force turnovers, which translated into points. They made one last miraculous run to cut the lead to 48-46 with 15 seconds left to play. They had a chance to tie the game but ran out of time as TCA held on for the win.
Junior guard Aubrey Robinson led the way for the Stallions with 14 points and D’Nae Wilson was also in double figures with 13.
Despite the tough loss, the Lady Stallions hope to improve their game to take on league leaders Mesa Ridge this week before prepping for the state tournament.