Behind solid performances from a pair of seniors and a swarming zone defense, The Urban School of San Francisco’s girls basketball team defeated Marin Academy 47-36 in first round of the Bay Counties League West playoffs on Tuesday.
With the win, Urban advances to play top-seeded Convent Sacred Heart in the semifinal round on Thursday at the City College of San Francisco. Convent was undefeated in BCL West play this season.
The Blues (13-12) outscored Marin Academy 26-12 in the second and third quarters to open up a commanding lead that eventually swelled to 20 points in the final quarter.
Urban closed the first half on an 11-0 run that was capped by a straightaway three pointer by senior guard Sarah Ash with 20 seconds left in the half.
The teams only other senior, forward Anneli Eddy, led the way offensively for the Blues, with a team-high 18 points. Eddy also punished Marin Academy (10-14) on the boards and served as anchor for an all-around team defensive effort that forced 19 Wildcat turnovers.
Although the second quarter three pointer was the only score of the game for Ash, she added to her contribution with five steals and several assists while controlling nearly all of the Blues’ ball handling duties.
“Sarah has really come into her own over the last seven games or so,” said Urban Head Coach Hope Broadis. “She’s learned what it means to be a real point guard, an extension of me on the floor.”
Marin Academy got 15 points from sophomore forward Emily Klein and nine from senior guard Ariel Wilkes, but the Wildcats never got the second-half deficit under 10 points.
This is the third meeting between the two teams this season. They split the previous encounters, with Urban winning the most recent contest on Feb. 10.
It turned out to be strategic revelation from that game that turned the tide on Tuesday night.
Halfway through the second quarter, with her team trailing 16-14, Broadis switched to a 2-3 zone defense.
“We played the 2-3 [zone] the entire game last time and we won,” Broadis said. “We started out in man-to-man, but it really made a difference when we switched to the zone.”
The Wildcats never cracked the zone and scored just one point in nine minutes after the defense was implemented.
The Blues performance was not only bolstered by seniors, as freshman Nikki Greenberg added a 12 points and sophomore Jenna Woldman chipped in with six.