The Tigers opened the WAC campaign with a 54-25 triumph at home against the Central Valley Hawks on Jan. 2 and finished the week by besting the Wolves 51-30 in Livingston on Thursday, Jan. 3.
The start was little more than business as usual for the Tigers (13-2 overall, 2-0 WAC), according to Patterson coach Elizabeth Tolleson.
“Our mindset is to play hard and to prove to these two teams, and to everyone else in the league, that we are a program to be reckoned with,” Tolleson said. “We’re playing well, but we are always looking to improve our game.”
Freshman Danielle Jenkins scored a game-high 14 points and made eight rebounds as the Tigers overcame an early deficit and gradually pulled away from Livingston (3-10, 0-1).
Patterson took a 7-4 edge by the end of the first period and used a 16-6 second quarter to take the lead for good.
The win was the team’s 12th in 13 games.
Sophomore Shealyn Craven helped the Tigers with 11 points, and Mele Tupouata, a junior, added nine points, 14 rebounds and three assists. Junior Dayna Hansen added six points and six boards.
“I don’t think it matters where the games are located. I think it matters how hard we come out and compete,” Tolleson said. “Coming out strong in league is a big deal for our team.”
Craven scored nine of her team’s first 11 points in the second quarter, including a 3-pointer from the left side that put Patterson ahead by 12 with about three minutes to play in the period. A putback by Jenkins and a free throw by Hansen gave Patterson a 23-10 lead at halftime.
“Once we started to talk more and communicate better, we began to take the momentum,” Jenkins said. “We know what we are supposed to do out on the court. We feel that we are usually the better team.”
The Wolves, however, clawed back to within one point by opening the third quarter with an 11-0 run.
The Tigers answered with five straight points and forged an 11-2 run of their own to take a 34-22 advantage into the final quarter.
“We wanted to battle to the best of our ability against a tough league opponent,” Tolleson said. “We wanted to play strong throughout the game, and with heart.”
A steal and fast-break layup by Craven capped an 8-0 Patterson spurt at the start of the fourth quarter, extending the Tigers’ lead to 42-22 near the five-minute mark. Five Patterson players scored in the final eight minutes, led by Jenkins, who had seven fourth-quarter points.
“Having Danielle on the floor helps us out a lot,” Tolleson said. “Together with Mele, we have two dominant forces on the inside.”
Junior Jovanah Arrington and Tupouata each scored 12 points and Craven had nine in the team’s WAC-opening victory against Central Valley (6-10, 1-1).
Jenkins recorded eight points and eight boards for the Tigers.
“It’s important for us to continue to play consistent, tough basketball,” Tolleson said. “If you’re not playing well, anyone can come along and knock you off.”
Patterson will continue the conference season at home at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, against Ceres High (0-1 WAC).
Patterson’s JV girls dropped a 63-48 decision to Livingston.
Ariyanna Cashen had 17 points and 19 rebounds for the Tigers, while Leanna Lindsey added 13 points and four boards.
Jordan Scheuller had seven points, Maria Cortez (five rebounds) tallied six and Julia Sill logged five points, five assists and four rebounds.
The Tigers opened the WAC season with a 39-33 home loss to Central Valley.
Cashen, Scheuller and Cortez each notched seven points for Patterson (0-2 WAC).
The freshman Tigers (0-2 WAC) lost to Livingston 61-19.
Paula Diaz (nine rebounds, three assists) scored a team-high 11 points, and teammate Danyelle DeForest added four points and seven rebounds. Ana Martin recorded nine boards.
Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or email@example.com.