Woodcreek girls comeback falls one point short

By: Bill Poindexter/Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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SACRAMENTO – For a team that had problems finishing plays late in the season, Woodcreek High School’s girls basketball team came up with a finish Tuesday night that could have caused palpitations – to both sides of fans.

Trailing by 15 heading into the fourth quarter, the Timberwolves stormed back in the final five minutes but fell short in a 43-42 loss at Florin in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs.

“I told the girls I couldn’t be prouder of the effort,” Woodcreek coach Raymond Beck said. “Did we make mistakes? Yeah. Were there things we can learn from? Yeah. We’re going to move forward. This will cause a little taste in their mouth that hey, we can get better. We can finish some things better and get ourselves in position to finish better as athletes.”

Woodcreek, after scoring two points in the third quarter, outscored Florin 22-8 in the fourth.

“There were a lot of balls that rolled around and went out,” Beck said. “It very easily could have been 30 points on the board. That just shows heart and effort.”

Juniors Kylie Henry and Fia Hoskinson hit three-pointers that pulled Woodcreek (17-11) within 37-30. Junior Samantha Gonzalez made a three-pointer and another basket to close the gap to 41-37 with 1:50 remaining.

Henry made another three-pointer to make it a 43-40 game and set off 33.4 seconds of grand-finale fireworks.

The ninth-seeded Timberwolves came up with a steal near their basket but missed a layup attempt. The game clock didn’t start when No. 8 Florin (23-5) had the ball and was set at 6.9 seconds after Woodcreek committed a foul. The Panthers were called for a lane violation on the subsequent free throw, and Joleen Chanco’s layup came just before the buzzer but left Woodcreek a point short of forcing overtime.

“We just haven’t had enough of those kinds of close games where there were a couple of things where we might have been able to take advantage a little,” Beck said. “As we’re transitioning down the court, there were some things that were there, because they were kind of panicked as we got it closer.”

Woodcreek will lose only two seniors – Chanco and Jessica Davis. Beck said he was proud of the way Chanco “battled back” after missing last season because of a torn ACL. She missed Woodcreek’s run to the second round of the NorCal Regional playoffs.

Chanco led the Timberwolves with 12 points against Florin. Hoskinson scored 10 points and Gonzalez eight.