The Bret Harte High School women’s basketball team hopes to be the queens of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section V playoffs. And to be crowned as the best of the moment, the potential queens will have to win in the house of the Kings.
No. 2 Bret Harte knocked out No. 3 Woodland Christian 57-36 in the V Division playoff semifinals on Wednesday night at the Bob Bach Gym in Angels Camp. Now all that stands before the Bullfrogs and captures their first blue banner since 1981 is No. 1 Bear River. Bret Harte and Bear River will fight for the Division V championship at Golden 1 Arena, home of the Sacramento Kings.
“I’m just proud of our girls and they deserve it,” Bret Harte first-year head coach Billy Reid said. “They worked very hard. I know I can’t make everyone happy, but everyone should be happy with what we’ve achieved. I’m happy for the girls, the school, the community and Bret Harte’s basketball. That’s wonderful.”
Bret Harte junior Aariah Fox echoed Reid’s sentiments saying, “I couldn’t be more proud of our entire team and our coaches. This is an amazing opportunity that we are all excited for. We go into Saturday with a super positive frame of mind and a lot of energy. I am 100% delighted with this program and the progress made by our team.
Bret Harte started hot against Woodland Christian and never looked back. The Bullfrogs outscored Woodland Christian 21-3 in the first quarter. Sophomore Chase Silva and senior Jaycee Davey each scored six points in the first eight minutes, while Fox added three points and junior duo Ashlin Arias and CJ DesBouillons both scored two points apiece.
In the second quarter, the Bullfrogs scored eight points and Arias led the way with four, while Silva and senior Ally Stoy each scored a field goal. At halftime, Bret Harte was leading 29-13.
The Bullfrogs put the game aside in the third quarter. Silva was unstoppable in the paint, as the second scored eight points. Fox added four points, Davey drained a 3-point field goal and Stoy scored two in a 17-point third quarter. Heading into the fourth, the Bullfrogs had a comfortable 46-21 lead. Bret Harte finished the game scoring 11 points, Arias leading the charge with five, Silva was close behind with four and Fox added two points from the free throw line.
Silva scored a game-high 20 points; Arias scored 11 points; Davey and Fox each finished the night with nine points; Stoy scored six points; and DesBouillons scored two in the win.
Next up for Bret Harte is Bear River, who will enter the Divisional Championship game with a 22-2 overall record after beating No. 4 John Adams Academy 57-21 on Wednesday night. Even though the Bullfrogs face the No. 1 team in the division, Reid doesn’t feel like his team thinks they’re the underdogs.
“They’re ready,” Reid said. “Our girls are battle tested. We played against St. Mary’s and twice against Calaveras and Argonaut. These games are the games that prepared us. We’ve seen it all and once again, we haven’t reached the peak yet and that’s good.
Reid knows what it’s like to play in an NBA arena since his time as a professional basketball player with the Golden State Warriors. He knows his players may need time to recover from the shock of playing in a 17,000-seat arena, but Reid believes once the whistle blows his players will have no problem recovering. in basketball mode.
“It’s kind of to be expected,” Reid said of the shock of playing in the Kings’ home. “But once they get out there and make that first pass, they’re going to realize that that pitch is the same size as Bret Harte’s pitch. I will guide them and make them understand that these are the same measurements as the ground at home. It’s just in a big arena in a bigger setting. I just want them to enjoy it because they deserve it.
And when it comes to being ready to play at the Golden 1 Center, Fox can’t wait to step onto the NBA hardwood and fight for a blue banner.
“I think our team is going to thrive in a gym like this,” Fox said. “Hopefully that will push us and we’re all going to push each other so hard because of how rare this opportunity is and how badly we want it.”
A Divisional Championship win would truly take Bret Harte’s basketball program from the outhouse to the penthouse. And while Reid would love nothing more than to see his team pick up one more win, he couldn’t be happier with the effort and dedication they’ve given him this season.
“I’m so proud of them,” Reid said. “I even get a little emotional right now. They did their best and they are battle tested.
Bret Harte takes on Bear River at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento.