But it means a whole lot more if those players can move, ball handle and sink a few shots.
The Patterson High girls have all those abilities and eventually imposed their will on a shorter but scrappy Weston Ranch team Thursday, Feb. 27, showcasing their muscle, quickness and confidence in a 73-55 victory.
The Tigers (25-4), seeded No. 3, travel to Sacramento's Cosumnes River College on Tuesday, March 4, to face No. 2 Modesto Christian High (21-8) in the semifinals of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs.
On the glass, Patterson has a tendency to scratch and claw for rebounds. It was a major focus of the game between the two schools on Thursday night.
One put-back after another, 5-foot-11 junior Ariyanna Cashen shot down the Weston Ranch Cougars of Stockton.
She scored 11 of her team-high 17 points during the decisive second half, turning a six-point game after three quarters into a blowout that sent Patterson soaring into the section semifinals for the first time since 2003.
Cashen's 19-rebound performance, along with 6-foot senior Mele Tupouata's 12 points and 13 rebounds, helped the Tigers dominate under the boards which aided Patterson in opening up a big lead late.
The Cougars gave the home team a test, but were left looking to next season.
Trailing by eight points, Weston Ranch (19-9) began to chip away and pulled within 60-55 on a 3-pointer from A.J. Brown (19 points) with just over four minutes to play in the contest.
Led by junior Povai Fesili, the Tigers came out firing on all cylinders, however, to close out the visitors. During their 13-0 run in the final 4:06, Fesili recorded seven of her nine points, twice getting the hoop plus the harm, and it created a lead that wouldn't be touched for the rest of the game.
The Tigers raucous student section was out in full force for the game played at Patterson High's gymnasium, Thursday night.
During the game-clinching run by Patterson, which featured a monster rejection by Tupouata, the Tiger fans went crazy, jumping out of their seats and shouting down the fading opposition.
The crowd was treated to an offensive show in the first half. A basket on one end was answered quickly by a shot on the other in what was shaping up as a thriller between the two teams.
Elizabeth Alexander scored 15 of her 17 points in the opening half to help keep Weston Ranch close. But Cashen scored four second-chance points in the final minute of the second quarter, including a put-back at the buzzer, to give Patterson a 37-34 halftime advantage.
The Tigers got 13 points, six rebounds and five steals from Jovanah Arrington, while fellow senior Kiara Job tallied all seven of her points before the intermission.
Sophomore Danielle Jenkins added six points and three rebounds for Patterson, who has won 14 straight games and 21 of its last 22.
Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or firstname.lastname@example.org.