Melissa Mitchell, seen last season, led the Foothill Cougars to a 69-44 win over Shasta in the Harlan Carter consolation final on Saturday. (File photo)
The Foothill girls basketball team couldn’t miss in the first quarter of Saturday’s consolation final. The Cougars shot a smoking 10-of-20 in the first eight minutes – including 6-of-9 form range – to race out to a 28-15 first-quarter lead en route to a 69-44 win over Shasta at the Harlan Carter Invitational.
The Cougars were so hot early that even a seven-point fourth quarter wasn’t enough to derail Stephanie Ahluwalia’s bunch.
“We have some fantastic shooters when they’re confident,” the coach said. “We do so much shooting during practice. When they’re hot, it’s fun to watch.”
On of the keys to Foothill’s hot shooting night was open looks as the Cougars moved the ball on offense crisply and quickly.
“These girls have always been great passers,” Ahluwalia said. “Quick passes are the goal because the defense can’t keep up with it like they can dribbling.”
The Wolves, meanwhile, did what they could to keep within striking distance in the first period, but a four-point second quarter left them staring at a 26-point deficit, down 45-19. Shasta was 2-of-12 from the field in the quarter, hitting their first and last attempts in the period.
And while the Wolves struggles, the Cougars kept building their lead.
Maddie Matthews opened the second quarter with back-to-back buckets before Riley Wallen did the same. Delanie Henning, who was named to the all-tournament team, canned a pair of freebies before Matthews drained a 3-ball to put Foothill up 41-17. Jenna Wallace and Henning ended the half with baskets and the 45-19 edge.
The Cougars would build the lead to 32 in the third period before cooling off in the four quarter.
The Wolves, to their credit, kept grinding and found low-post success to start the fourth as Julianna Flores scored Shasta’s first five points of the final stanza. The westsiders also ramped up the defense, holding Foothill scoreless in the fourth until the 1:30 mark when Melissa Mitchell scored make the score 64–41.
Wallen led the Cougars with 18 points, while Mitchell added 17 and Wallace poured in 11. The Wolves were led by Flores and Ella Rodriguez, who each had 11 and Taryn Giacomelli, who added 10.
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