Cassie Coble simply shrugged off questions regarding the Patterson High girls basketball team’s recent winning streak.
The standout guard simply went out and did all she could to keep the Tigers in the chase for a playoff spot and a Western Athletic Conference title.
Coble scored 27 points to lead Patterson to its third-straight win, 71-54 over Central Catholic on Saturday, Jan. 23.
“When you have a player like that who can score and gets teammates easy baskets, those little things start to help others with their confidence,” Patterson coach Jason McCleery said.
Coble gives the Tigers confidence, all right — enough that they are starting to think playoffs.
Patterson won all three games during a busy week, beginning with a 40-29 victory over host Hilmar on Jan. 19. Coble led the Tigers with 16 points and 14 rebounds. Teammate Sierra Santos added nine points on three 3-pointers.
The Tigers proceeded to blast visiting Orestimba, 47-22, on Jan. 21. Coble again paced the Tigers with 12 points and 14 rebounds. Emily Yin and Amber Bond chipped in 10 points and nine points, respectively.
Patterson (13-6 overall, 6-1 WAC) has won six of seven overall.
“We just want to take care of business,” Coble said.
Against Orestimba (13-7, 3-4), Coble’s 12 points included a pair of jumpers during a dominating 12-2 run that helped the Tigers pull away in the first quarter.
Yin, who was a spark off the bench, scored her first two baskets on a runner and a jumper. Yin gives the Tigers energy and production off the bench, and she easily darted past the seemingly fatigued Warriors.
“We wanted to make sure that there was no letdown in us tonight,” McCleery said.
Patterson enjoyed a 24-5 advantage at halftime, holding the Warriors to just two field goals in the first half.
Usually, Orestimba star Sarah Spaulding can be counted on to carry her team during offensive lulls. But the unusual is becoming typical for the Warriors this season when facing the Tigers.
Bond started on Spaulding. Then backup guards Yin and Marissa Chavez — giving away 4 inches each — came off the bench and added to Spaulding’s woes.
Bond, Yin and Chavez forced Spaulding to catch the ball far out on the perimeter, and got help from Coble when Spaulding drove inside.
“Some of the girls that are coming off the bench are playing outstanding defense for us,” McCleery said. “They’ve got their noses on the ball, they’re helping each other out and they’re stepping up.”
But Coble is the biggest reason why the Tigers are starting to think about a playoff push. Her steady style helps calm a team that looked to rebuild this season. While she’s normally selfless with the ball, Coble knows when to score big buckets and rally the Tigers.
Against Central Catholic (8-10, 2-4), Coble scored Patterson’s final nine points of the first half, including a nifty reverse layup and a 3-pointer that put the Tigers ahead 28-25.
The Tigers outscored Central Catholic 34-17 in the third quarter and never looked back. Patterson hit a season-high eight 3-pointers in the game, and Bond scored 18 points.
McCleery talked about wanting his team to believe it could reach the postseason. With more games like this one, the Tigers might get there for the first time since 2007.
“Everybody is getting involved, everybody is getting a chance to make a play, and that’s what basketball is all about,” McCleery said.
“When you play ball like this in the league, you have chances to make good things happen,” Coble added.
Patterson coach Terry Coble watched his Tigers score 26 second-half points on their way to a 49-29 victory over Orestimba.
After holding a slim 23-22 lead at halftime, Patterson outscored the Warriors 26-7 in the second half to simply run away with the game.
Marisabel Carrillo led the Tigers with 19 points. Teammates Kai Roberts and Shantel Perez added nine points apiece.
• Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187 or email@example.com.