Playoff loss in The Cave ends girls basketball season

Lassen High School’s girls basketball team’s season came to an end as the number five seed in the tournament hosted a first round CIF Northern Section Division 4 playoff game in The Cave against the Lady Mustangs of Argonaut High School Tuesday, March 1. The Lady Grizzles fell 77-56 in a contest that was closer than the score suggests.

According to maxpreps, team members include Sydney WhitlockKatelyn ErnagaShade SaticaAbby RoblesFaith MurphyTaylore SomervilleGraceyn HarlanJordan Smith and Ryleigh Hart.

The Lady Grizzlies posted a 21-9 overall record this year (7-3 in league, good enough for second place). According to maxpreps, point guard Shade Satica led in scoring averaging 15.6 points per game. Satica also led in assists (3.7 per game) and steals (5.1 per game). Taylore Somerville led in rebounds with 7.1 per game and blocks with 1.3 per game.

Despite the disappointing loss, Coach Jim Ernaga said, “We did great. We were in the top 30 teams in the state. Just to get there is pretty good for us. Not many teams make it to the state tournament. I’m really proud of them.”

Ernaga said the Lady Grizzlies have made it to the state tournament before, but it’s been a while. He said the Lady Grizzlies have been section champions before and that team always make the tournament. This year the Lady Grizzlies finished in second place in the section and made the cut for the state tournament. The Lady Grizzlies were also ranked number five in the north state. U Prep, the league champion ranked number one in the north state, defeated the Lady Grizzles 50-41 in The Cave Feb. 26.

The Lady Grizzlies fought hard, and it was a 2-point game with two minutes left in the first half when the Lady Mustangs drilled three treys in a row.

“That kind of put us down, but we battled,” Ernaga said.

In the last few minutes of the game the coach said the Lady Mustangs kept their starters in the game while he played the Lady Grizzlies’ bench.

“I threw up the white flag, but he just kept rolling,” Ernaga said of the Lady Mustangs’ coach. “It was a closer game than that score.”

Ernaga praised the programs available to youngsters in Susanville — especially Lassen Hoops and Triple Threat — and said several of the Lady Grizzlies have been playing together for many years. He said now the kids have Lassen Baseline.

“Some of these girls have played together since they were 8 or 9,” Ernaga said. “They’ve really gotten to know each other. A lot of them stuck with it and kept playing the game.”

He said the coaches look the kids and ask the more talented ones to join a travel team.

“But you don’t have to play on a travel team to be a good basketball player,” Ernaga said. “Most of the tournaments are in Redding or Reno, and they travel there to get more games in.”

Ernaga said the future looks good for the Lady Grizzlies despite losing four seniors (two starters) this year.

“I have six players coming back, and they’re all good players,” Ernaga said, “and we’ll get some off the JV team, so we’ll have a good year, I suspect. I’m planning on it.”