Patterson defeats Los Banos for 20th straight WAC win
by Marc Aceves | Patterson Irrigator
Jan 23, 2014 | 708 views | 0 0 comments | 53 53 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Patterson High's varsity girls basketball team has started the 2014 Western Athletic Conference season 6-0.

But this Tiger league winning streak, now at a sparkling and round 20 games overall after a 62-22 dismantling of host Los Banos High on Tuesday, Jan. 21, is just the beginning for the local squad.

"These players already have a ton of motivation within themselves to succeed and be better," said Patterson coach Elizabeth Tolleson. "We don't think we earned respect last season, so this year we are going to demand it."

The Tigers (17-4 overall, 6-0 WAC) have built upon their undefeated title of last year, with six straight wins to open up the 2014 winter term, extending their conference winning streak, a run that dates to the end of the 2011-12 campaign.

The impressive string of victories began when the Tigers defeated the Ceres High Bulldogs 45-33 in Feb. of 2012. This year, Patterson is not only winning games, it is defeating its opponents with ease.

During the current six-game streak, Patterson has averaged 74 points per game and has an average margin of victory of 49. Of the six wins, only one came by fewer than 25 points.

"While we might not be challenged this season, we are constantly challenging ourselves," Tolleson said. "We need to keep our stamina and our competitiveness up to par. We want to stay up and be ready for the postseason."

During the offseason, the Tigers used the WAC championship and their unbeaten league run as incentives to improve during the summer.

Patterson is motivated too, for different reasons.

Despite last year's unblemished conference mark, several Patterson players were left off of the all-league roster. Shealyn Craven was the only Tiger player to earn first-team all-WAC recognition, while teammates Mele Tupouata and Jovanah Arrington were on the second team.

"It's something that still boils our blood, but it is something that we are going to learn from," Tolleson said. "If league voters want statistics then we are going to give it to them. Other teams are going to have to take the brunt of it."

When the team returned for practices this year, Tolleson implemented a policy of keeping the players focused on one game at a time.

In order to have had such a large amount of continued success, Patterson has a very special mindset every time it takes the floor.

"All 11 of these girls can play. Just because they don't start on this team, doesn't mean that they are not effective parts," Tolleson said. "Everybody has their own role, and now we are starting to learn those roles and grow as a team."

On Tuesday, Dayna Hansen (six rebounds) pumped in 11 points, and teammate Kiara Job (10 rebounds) added nine for the Tigers, who have won 13 of their past 14 games overall.

Janae Jackson scored eight points, while Tupouata (eight rebounds, three steals) and Ariyanna Cashen (five rebounds) each chipped in seven for Patterson.

Arrington (six points) recorded a game-high seven assists, and Craven (three assists) and Tiana Barron (two assists) each tallied five points for the Tigers.

Patterson will continue the conference season at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, against visiting Central Catholic High of Modesto.

Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or marc@pattersonirrigator.com.
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