The Tigers (20-4, 9-0 WAC) claimed their 16th win in 17 games, extended their league win streak to 23 games and notched their second straight 20-win season under head coach Elizabeth Tolleson.
Patterson expects to win a lot more than 20, of course, and could even eclipse last year's win total of 24, when the Tigers fell in the second round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs.
"Playoffs are the goal. We have some unfinished business," Tolleson said. "We ended our season far too early last year, and the girls can't wait to get a second chance."
On Tuesday, junior Shealyn Craven finished with a team-high 13 points, including three 3-pointers, while senior Dayna Hansen added 10 points, four steals and three assists for Patterson.
Jovannah Arrington helped with nine points, four steals and four assists, and classmate Mele Tupouata notched seven points and 10 rebounds.
Patterson players practice hard to be ready and at the team's best each time out, regardless of competition level, Tolleson said.
"The girls' hard work, dedication and work ethic are by far the biggest stand outs from a season ago," Tolleson said. "We had six girls playing summer ball and everyone participated in my summer workouts. The girls are workhorses and have the same love for the game."
Patterson's success hasn't surprised most outsiders, mostly because the Tigers lost only two players from the team that maintaied a perfect WAC record at 12-0 and reached the D-III tournament for the second straight season.
The Tigers themselves are neither surprised, nor satisfied.
"If this team puts their minds to it, then the sky's the limit," Tolleson said. "I truly believe that this team is capable of great things. They can go as far as they want."
As far as efficiency goes, Patterson is on a completely different level than their opponents at the moment, and no one seems to be able to keep up.
During the current nine-game streak, Patterson has averaged 71 points per game and has an average margin of victory of 48.
It almost feels as though the Tigers are setting down the challenge of: "We're going to score around 70, see if you can keep up."
And lately, no one can.
What Tolleson is trying to teach next is what great teams do: negate the pressure and instead impose their will. Drop the hammer. Hit them in the mouth.
"It is tough to play in our league (against weaker competition) and then play in the playoffs with great competition," Tolleson said. "It's something we have to do better -- play at our level and not at the level of the competition."
Patterson will continue the WAC season at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, against host Central Valley High of Ceres.
Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or firstname.lastname@example.org.