By Aidan Fitzsimon
STOCKTON – The St. Ignatius girls basketball team was well aware it had a daunting task in taking on top-seeded St. Mary’s of Stockton in the California Interscholastic Federation Division II state playoffs on Tuesday at San Joaquin Delta College.
The Wildcats did not shy away from the task, but still saw their season end with a 68-45 loss in the Northern California regional semifinals.
The Wildcats (26-6) stuck with the Rams (30-3) in the first half and only trailed 35-26 at the halftime break, but St. Mary’s tightened up its defense, went on a 8-0 run in the third quarter to push the lead to 16 points and never looked back.
“The kids got a little fatigued at the end,” said St. Ignatius head coach Michael Mulkerrins said. “Once they got the lead to fifteen it was hard for us to battle back.”
While the defense was stout for St. Mary’s throughout, it also got solid offensive performances from sophomore Charise Holloway and junior Courtney Range, who scored 20 and 19 points, respectively.
“Her length really presents a problem,” St. Mary’s head coach Tom Gonsalves said of Range, a 6-foot guard. “Down the stretch, she made some big shots for us.”
Freshman center Josie Little led the Wildcats with 13 points, while fellow freshman Sydney Raggio and senior Maria Kemiji-McDonald added 10 points apiece.
“We had a great season,” Mulkerrins said. “I’m proud of the girls. 26-6 is nothing to hang your head about and [West Catholic Athletic League] co-champs is something to hang your hat on. It was one of the best years we’ve had in a long time.”
Charise Holloway – 20
Courtney Range – 19
Brijanee Moore – 12
Onome Temerigbe – 9
Regina Camera – 5
Josie Little – 13
Sydney Raggio – 10
Maria Kemiji-McDonald – 10
Courtney Gong – 8
Kaitlyn Crawley – 4