MANTECA – Bret Harte High School junior Jaden Arias made a free throw with 6:59 to play in the first quarter to give the Bullfrogs a 1-0 lead over the Sierra Timberwolves. That was the only lead Bret Harte had all afternoon.
After Sierra scored to take a 2-1 lead 30 seconds later, Bret Harte had no answer for the offensive onslaught that came its way. The Bullfrogs had trouble all game keeping up with the faster and more physical team from the Valley Oak League and lost 72-31 Saturday afternoon.
After the first two games of the season, Bret Harte is now 0-2 (with a 51-28 home loss to Patterson Nov. 26) and have been outscored 100-59 in those two contests. While Bret Harte hasn’t yet been able to find its groove, junior Haylee Maddeaux doesn’t feel it’s time to panic.
“It’s a long season,” Maddeaux said after the 41-point loss to Sierra. “The two teams we’ve played so far are just faster teams than us. It’s not that we are not fast, but it’s just harder for us to play against them. I think that once we get into league and play against teams that we are on the same level with, it’ll be a lot better for us.”
A glaring issue for the Bullfrogs Saturday afternoon was their inability to make free throws. Bret Harte went to the foul line 33 times, but made only 14 shots.
“Missing all of those free throws was huge, especially in the first half,” Bret Harte head coach Mitch Hodson said. “At halftime, we looked at home many free throws we missed and we would have only been down by three had we made them. Because we weren’t able to make our free throws, things just snowballed.”
The Bullfrogs stayed within striking distance for the opening six minutes, while getting five points from Arias and two from freshman Kyla Kirk. Trailing Sierra 12-7 with two minutes to play in the opening quarter, Bret Harte’s defense couldn't slow down the Timberwolves, who ended the quarter on a 6-0 run and led 18-7 heading into the second period.
Turnovers and missed free throws hurt the Bullfrogs in the second quarter, but Maddeaux also feels that rebounding became an issue, as Bret Harte pulled down just 28 boards.
“We needed to crash the boards and get the rebounds,” she said. “We weren’t able to get extra shots because we weren’t rebounding.”
Trailing 33-16 to begin the third quarter, Bret Harte got an early basket from Maddeaux and junior Kalah Casey added an and-1 basket, but Sierra ended the quarter on a 10-0 run to lead 50-22 heading into the final eight minutes.
In the fourth quarter, play on both sides became a little chippy and while one technical foul was handed out to a Sierra player, no ejections happened and the game came to an end with Sierra on top 72-31.
Arias led Bret Harte in scoring with six points and she also had five rebounds; Jaycee Davey had five points; Maddeaux had four points and two rebounds; Cierra Gilbert had four points, one rebound and one steal; Mikenna Grotto had five rebounds and two points; and Casey had four boards and three points.
Bret Harte (0-2) will take on Enochs at 7:15, Tuesday in Modesto.
“We are here to play basketball and that’s what we were here for today and we didn’t do a very good job of it, me included,” Hodson said. “I’m hoping that this young team, who is still growing, will use something like this to bring us closer together.”
Bret Harte’s JV team fell to Sierra 30-25 Saturday afternoon. Brayley Blodgett scored nine points; CJ DesBoullions scored seven; Kadyn Rolleri scored six; Ashlin Arias added two points; and Mackenzie Carroll scored one in the loss.
Bret Harte’s freshman squad improved to 2-0 with a close 29-28 victory over Sierra. Breya Nobles led the way with 15 points; Alissa Sutton scored six; Trinity Kekai-Acedo, Makenna Robertson and Sydney Hutchinson each scored two points; and Angelina Howard and Melana Wakefield each scored one-point in the win.