Play it again! For the Gilroy girls’ basketball team, that means
a second-round Central Coast Conference playoff game against
Carlmont at Milpitas High School. Game time is 2:45pm today.
Play it again! For the Gilroy girls’ basketball team, that means a second-round Central Coast Conference playoff game against Carlmont at Milpitas High School. Game time is 2:45pm today.
The circumstances are far different this time. Whereas last year the Mustangs were the favorites, this year the Scots are the top seeds. They are well rested after a first-round bye.
Veterans Vanessa Wilkins, Dana Schoeneman, Russhelle Preeshl and Amanda Spellman have been down this road before. They’ve experienced the frustration of a two-point loss to Carlmont. They survived a rough beginning this year during a 40-38 first-round win over Homestead.
Spellman, who picked the right time to have her best offensive game against Homestead, knows Gilroy (18-6) has to toughen up if it wants to continue its quest after today.
“It’s fairly unacceptable to lose a big lead like we did (against Homestead),” Spellman said. “We need to take the mistakes we made and learn from them. The younger girls have seen what the CCS experience is like. We need to accept the challenge.”
There is no question Carlmont (17-8) will present a challenge. After all, the Scots got the top seed. And yet, GHS coach James Wilkins in his team. He fully expected Gilroy to get past Homestead and talked about how if GHS played its game it could stay with Carlmont.
Today, he will see whether Gilroy is like the second-quarter team that outscored Homestead 19-3 or the fourth-quarter team that turned the ball over 15 times and nearly squandered a 17-point advantage.
Carlmont played Homestead earlier in the season and won 54-45. The Scots are traditionally strong with their outside shooting and are physical, as the Mustangs learned last year.
“It’s going to be physical,” Spellman said. “People need to step up and accept the challenge.”
Gilroy will again look for balanced scoring. Schoeneman is the only girl averaging in double figures at 10 points a game, but Wilkins, Angela Silveira and Preeshl have all had scoring games of 15 points or more during the season.
“They play in a tough league (Peninsula South) and play tough competition year round,” GHS assistant coach Ana Patejdl said of Carlmont. “A team like that only gets better during season. Last year they shot very well and were scrappy.”
Patejdl thinks facing Carlmont comes at just the right time. After all, the Scots knocked the Mustangs out of the playoffs last year and there are enough girls that remember that the coaches anticipate no problems getting the team fired up.
“I think it’s cool we will face them again,” Patejdl said. “Last year was obviously a painful experience for them expecting to go farther (in the playoffs). It didn’t happen that way. If there is any team they want to face in this tournament, this is who they would want to play.”