By Josh Levine
Coming into Saturday’s North Coast Section Division V quarterfinal matchup against Sonoma Academy, University High School’s girls basketball team knew it wasn’t going to be able to stop Division I recruit Kate Bayes.
Bayes led all scorers with 30 points, but the rest of the visiting Coyotes only amounted for two points and the Red Devils advanced to the section semifinals with a 47-32 win.
Bays took 34 shoots from the floor, while the rest of the fourth-seeded Coyotes (26-3) took 19 shots.
“What we saw from the tape, we knew that Kate was their primary offense,” said University head coach Jason Montana. “You’re not going to keep her from scoring, but if we play decent defense on everyone else, you just have to hope she doesn’t do enough to beat you.”
University senior captain Kaiza Molina was charged with defending Bayes for most of the game Bayes, and the senior bound for Nebraska-Omaha didn’t leave the floor.
“She’s difficult to defend and has amazing moves on the court,” Molina said. “Today was definitely a team effort, especially on defense. The mindset for me this game was to definitely stay on my toes the entire time.”
Fellow University captain and standout senior center Amelia King led the Red Devils (26-4) in scoring with 21 points, with 10 coming in the fourth quarter.
“We did a good job containing [King] for three quarters,” said Sonoma Academy head coach Kevin Christensen. “But in the fourth quarter, we were down and had to go for steals, and that’s how she got a lot of those looks late.”
The Red Devils advance to play defending champion and No. 1 seed St. Joseph Notre Dame in the NCS semifinals, but already qualified for the upcoming CIF State Championship tournament with the win over Sonoma Academy.
“It’s definitely going to be a tough game against St. Joe’s, but it never gets any easier,” Montana said. “I’ve heard they are super athletic, but it’s definitely going to be tough.”
Amelia King – 21
Alana Zack – 10
Katie Lo – 7
Kaiza Molina – 7
Kayla Symanovich – 2
Kate Bayes – 30
Savannah Stoughton – 2