The562’s coverage of Long Beach Wilson Athletics is sponsored by Joel Bitonio, Class of 2009.
The562’s coverage of Jordan Athletics is sponsored by John Ross, Class of 2013.
With the rain just beginning to fall in North Long Beach on Monday evening, the Ron Massey Court played host to a spirited game between two Moore League girls’ basketball playoff contenders. Host Jordan entered the game in third place, while the Bruins entered in a three-way tie for the fourth and final guaranteed playoff spot, as the league approaches the midway point of its season.
At the end of an exciting game that saw neither team able to pull away, it was Wilson that made a few more plays to secure the 50-45 victory, moving into a third place tie with the Panthers at 2-2 in league.
“We’ve been coming off some losses so I’m glad to pull it out, but I’m not happy with it,” said Wilson coach Erin Carey. “I think we’re a way better team than we showed tonight. We had so many unforced errors and turnovers–but to be able to do that and go on the road and win with how we’ve been playing, that’s good for us.”
Jordan did a good job of speeding the Bruins up in the first quarter, with Wilson turning it over six times as the Panthers built a 13-7 lead. The Bruins were able to get their feet underneath them in a second quarter that saw them outscore Jordan 20-9, flipping the score to take a 27-22 lead into halftime.
The biggest difference in the second quarter was a breakout performance by Adrianna Sambrano for Wilson, who poured in 11 of her game-high 18 points in the frame, including a pair of 3-pointers that she heartily celebrated.
“I could just feel the heat and I wanted to keep going, but I couldn’t have done it without my team, they gave me the ball so I had the opportunity,” said Sambrano.
Point guard Lauren Tiangco did a great job of slowing the Bruins down and moving the ball, finding Sambrano for open looks. She didn’t score in the second but was instrumental in bringing the game to her team’s pace.
“When Lo can do that she does it, if she can’t then it’s on me and my coaching staff,” said Carey. “We’re still building the team IQ--we get in situations where a team forces us to be frantic and we allow them to do it. So we’re working on fixing that.”
The second quarter ended up being decisive as the two teams tied 12-12 in the third and 11-11 in the fourth, unable to shake loose of each other. Tiangco had 11 points and two steals for the Bruins.
For a Jordan team looking to make the playoffs for the first time in a decade, it was a clear sign of how far they’ve come, even if it was a frustrating reminder that there’s a few steps still to go. The Panthers led by six after the first, then fell behind at halftime, and could never quite get back into it, while staying within a bucket or two the rest of the way. Three times they cut the lead to one possession in the third, but Wilson always had an answer.
The Panthers were led by junior Asia Edwards, who continues to develop into a strong guard. She had 17 points and four steals in the loss; Julie Davis and Janiah Lorn each had six points.
The Panthers have a huge week ahead with games against Lakewood and Millikan on Wednesday and Friday, while Wilson hosts Cabrillo and Compton Wednesday and Friday.