The Tigers hosted Livingston High on Thursday, Jan. 24, defeating the Wolves 63-12.
Patterson’s seventh-straight victory improved the team’s WAC record to 7-0, leaving the Tigers alone in first place with four games left in the regular season.
The win — Patterson’s 19th in 20 games — also ensured that the Tigers (19-2) control their own playoff destiny down the homestretch.
“We just want to stay focused and continue to do what we've been doing,” Patterson coach Elizabeth Tolleson said. “We will need to challenge ourselves more and try to expand our game. We will keep pushing because we are never satisfied. These girls are barely tapping into their potential.”
The Tigers also bested the Wolves on Jan. 3 in Livingston, 51-30. In that game, Livingston presented a tough defense early on, and the visitors needed to adjust their game to compete with the scrappy, tenacious home team.
“The girls know that they didn’t play close to their ability the first time (we played Livingston), so they were set to show everyone in our league who the main contender for the title is,” Tolleson said.
On Thursday, the Tigers left no doubt.
Sophomore Shealyn Craven led her team’s attack, finishing the game with 16 points, while junior teammate Jovanah Arrington added 10.
Strengthened by a stifling defense that held Livingston (4-15, 1-6) scoreless through the first quarter, Patterson never trailed for the duration of the contest.
“Our defense was nails. Everyone played really hard and intense,” Tolleson said. “We had a lot of deflections which led to turnovers and we started to turn those into points. We did a great job in the transition.”
Tolleson said she and her coaches had encouraged the team to keep playing good basketball and not be distracted by the prospect of playoffs.
“Right now, everyone is playing with confidence,” she said. “The girls have their eyes on the prize and are stopping at nothing to reach it.”
The Tigers continue the league season at home at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, against Los Banos High (10-11, 4-3 WAC).
Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or firstname.lastname@example.org.