Girls Basketball: Bay rides seniors to BCL Central title win over International

The Bay girls basketball team celebrates after its 58-55 win over International in the BCL Central championship game on Saturday at San Domenico School in San Anselmo. (Photo by Doug Ko)

By Jeremy Balan

SAN ANSELMO — The presence of battle-tested seniors is a welcome asset in any high school sports contest, but it was a glaring advantage for Bay School in its Bay Counties League Central championship game against International.

The top two teams in the BCL Central are evenly-matched across the board, except in one category. Bay’s seniors outnumber International’s 7-1, and the Breakers rode a pair of upperclassmen to a 58-55 win on Saturday at San Domenico School.

Bay senior forward Clara Cardillo goes up for a leaning jump shot in the key against International on Saturday at San Domenico School in San Anselmo. (Photo by Doug Ko)

After trailing 17-8 in the first quarter, Bay seniors and third-year varsity players Clara Cardillo and Mary MacLeod combined for 38 of the Breakers’ final 50 points, and they led at the end of every following quarter despite a back-and-forth contest.

As they did in their 19-point win over the Bay (21-6) in their final regular season meeting, the Jaguars (20-8) denied MacLeod the ball from baseline to baseline, but Cardillo would respond with a season-high 28 points on 11-of-15 shooting from the floor.

“Clara finally put together the game, thank goodness, that she’s capable of putting together every time, but just hasn’t for whatever reason,” said Bay head coach Larry Minnich. “I am not surprised. I’ve been waiting for this breakout game from her all year and it was a wonderful time for her to show it.”

The league title is Bay’s second in as many years, and the second in this academic year for Cardillo, who led the Breakers to a volleyball league title in the fall.

“It’s the best I could have hoped for, winning two championships in my senior year,” Cardillo said. “It was our last chance, and we decided to put it all out on the floor.”

Bay came out on top in this meeting, but even in the a loss International’s young squad shined, especially at the guard position, where freshman Natalie Kelly and junior Denia Ebersole combined for 45 points.

Ebersole nearly willed the Jaguars to victory with 16 fourth-quarter points, but she struggled shooting for most of the game and didn’t hit her first field goal until the 4:01 mark in the fourth quarter.

“If any one was going to do it, it would be her, and she almost did it in that fourth quarter, single-handedly” International head coach Charlene Murphy said of Ebersole. “We just fell short.”

International junior guard Denia Ebersole (left) goes up for a contested layup against Bay senior forward Alex Baum on Saturday at San Domenico School in San Anselmo. (Photo by Doug Ko)

As Ebersole struggled through the first three quarters, the just barely 5-foot Kelly was electric, scoring 23 points on a blend hard-driving layups and cold-blooded outside shooting.

“She’s our mighty mouse on the team and she’s just deadly on the floor,” Murphy said. “She’s had a couple of games like that, because they understand that some days one is going to have a bad game and the other one has to carry the load.”

But when it mattered the most, experience ruled supreme, as Cardillo poured in 10 points in the fourth quarter, including two crucial baskets in the final two minutes, after International tied the score at 51-51.

“They could have folded their tent, but they didn’t, because they are seniors,” Minnich said. “That’s what seniors do for you and every coach out there knows it. That’s the advantage we had in the end.”

With the win, Bay clinches the league’s automatic bid to the CIF-North Coast Section Division V playoffs, which begin next week. International should also be in the tournament easily with an at-large bid, but the Jaguars will have to wait until the brackets are released on Sunday to know for sure.

“There’s plenty of life left for us next week,” Murphy said. “It isn’t over for us and I hope this really lights a fire under us and we can go on a three or four game [run]. Nobody thought we’d get this far, so you never know.”

Scoring Leaders

Clara Cardillo – 28
Mary MacLeod – 14
Julia Millhouse – 6
Kelsey MacLeod – 3
Kayley You Mak – 3

Natalie Kelly – 23
Denia Ebersole – 22
Emilia Omerberg – 8
Clara Hancock – 2

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  1. ohfsho says:

    yeeeeee go bay!
    international played really well too, overall it was really fun to watch!

    congrats bay!

  2. Bayy says:

    “slay bay” more like “bay slayed”

  3. baum says:

    Bay beat the refs and the team…congrats!

  4. Refs suck says:

    I think refs just hate bay
    It was clear in the bay San Dominico game and in this one
    AND in the guys bay waldorf game

    The bcl needs to find better refs

  5. Anonymous says:

    its not whining if its the truth.

    • jbalan says:

      The International fans were just as displeased with the officials… This complaining (both at the game and in the comments on this story) is petty and annoying. Some of the comments from Bay supporters here makes it seem as though Bay didn’t win. Enjoy the victory instead of dwelling on the negative.

      I also haven’t been impressed with the officiating as a whole this year, but here are the things you need to understand.

      At the high school level, you can’t expect the peak of officiating talent. Many referees are developing, just like the players.

      Sure, the officiating can be frustrating, and I imagine even more when you have a team to root for, but this game was no poorer than any other game I’ve seen this season.

      As disappointing as some of the officiating has been this season, what’s been more disappointing has been the behavior of many of the fans, parents and supporters of many of the teams in the City, at games and in the comments on many of our stories.

  6. Anonymous says:

    we dont expect the refs to be perfect. we expect them to be fair and consistent. nothing wrong with that.

    • jbalan says:

      I disagree with that sentiment… The game was evenly called, and both teams and fans thought they were wronged in the end… So if both teams and fans feel the officiating was one-sided, that’s not a referee problem, that’s a perspective problem. A perspective that is rampant among high school athletics.

  7. Anonymous says:

    did you see the bay vs. san domenico playoff game? because if you had you couldn’t argue that the reffing was fair. today might not have been the worst game in that respect, but the bay girls have had to fight their way against the refs plenty of times. to play the game, the refs need to set a standard and stick to it, otherwise things get out of control.

  8. No name says:

    I was at the game yesterday and I’m a bay fan the refs did suck but they evenly sucked for both sides, yesterdays game was one of the best played basketball games I’ve ever seen both teams played really well and the redding was just bad
    Now in the San Dominico game the reffing was really one sided and if bay had lost the officials would have been the ones to blame
    Now back to this game, I want to congratulate international they played really well and really either team could have won. They put up a great fight. GOOO BAY WOOH!!! Yeeeeeee

  9. No name says:

    I meant reffing not redding

  10. ProRef says:

    You go ref then since all these fans and parents can do it better.

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