It was the kind of start the Mountain View High girls basketball team couldn’t afford against the top seed in the Central Coast Section Division II playoffs.
The fifth-seeded Spartans trailed Presentation 17-9 after the first quarter of last week’s semifinal and never caught up, falling 58-51 in Gilroy.
“We played like we needed to in the second half and got within one,” Mountain View coach Judy Auclair said, “but we just couldn’t get over the hump.”
The Spartans (23-3) scored 33 points after intermission, matching what the Panthers (12-15) produced in the second half of the Feb. 26 game.
Jayme Hughes finished with 15 points to lead Mountain View, Karen Kauffman added 13 and Cori Nishimoto contributed 10.
All three players are set to return next season – along with nine others – and Auclair expects them to have learned from the loss.
“I think the game made our young players realize we can play with stronger teams and not be intimidated next season,” said the coach, whose squad shared the SCVAL El Camino Division crown with Los Altos. “We may have another opportunity at CCS if we do well in preseason and hold our own for the most part in league. We know it will be difficult, but the players returning seem to be up for the next step.”
Panthers ousted from Open Division playoffs
The Pinewood girls made an earlier-than-usual exit from the CCS playoffs, largely due to the creation of the new Open Division. Instead of playing in Division V – which the Panthers have practically dominated for a decade – Pinewood was placed in the Open with seven of the best teams in CCS.
After opening the double-elimination tourney with a lopsided loss to No. 2 Mitty, the seventh-seeded Panthers fell 50-42 to No. 3 St. Ignatius Feb. 26 at Oak Grove. Freshman Chloe Eackles scored 10 points to pace Pinewood.
The Panthers’ season did not end there, however, as all the teams in the Open Division advance to this week’s Northern California playoffs.
The Panthers have been moved back to Division V for NorCal, earning the third seed and a first-round bye. They are scheduled to host No. 6 San Domenico (24-7) or No. 11 Ripon Christian (20-7) 7 p.m. Saturday.
“We’re looking forward to the NorCal playoffs with a lot of enthusiasm and determination to succeed,” Pinewood coach Doc Scheppler said.