After taking down Central Valley High of Ceres and Los Banos High, Patterson completed a three-game sweep last week with a 61-39 defeat of host Ceres High on Saturday, Feb. 2, running its winning streak to 10 games.
The Tigers (22-2 overall, 10-0 WAC) have won 21 of their past 22 games — a streak that had its roots in the summer, according to Patterson coach Elizabeth Tolleson.
“The players worked really hard in the offseason to be sitting in the position they are in,” Tolleson said. “These wins are the benefit of hard work. When everyone else was enjoying their summer, these players were working hard in the gym and in the weight room.”
The Tigers ended the 2011-12 regular season with a 19-7 overall record, rising from third place to second in the WAC.
But their goal had been to win the league crown, and Tolleson and her players were also disappointed with their first-round exit from the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs.
“This year’s team knows what it’s like to have the title in their grasp and what losing focus can cost them,” Tolleson said. “They knew it would take a lot of dedication to make sure that didn’t happen again.”
Through 10 league contests, Patterson is averaging 55.5 points per game while outscoring opponents by 27.2 points per game.
On Saturday, Patterson senior Shantel Perez recorded a team-high 12 points — all on 3-pointers — against Ceres (9-7, 5-4).
Junior Mele Tupouata put up nine points and collected eight rebounds, and fellow junior Kiara Job and sophomore Shealyn Craven each chipped in eight points for the Tigers.
“We controlled the tempo of the game and did a good job of pushing the ball up the court for our fast breaks,” Tolleson said.
That win followed on the heels of a 55-28 home victory against Los Banos High (11-12, 5-4) on Thursday, Jan. 31.
Patterson dominated the glass at both ends of the floor.
The Tigers outrebounded Los Banos 67-31 overall — many of those rebounds courtesy of Tupouata, who grabbed a game-high 21 boards.
“We’re one of the tallest teams in the league,” Tupouata said. “Our bigs are strong, and when we come together, we’re hard to beat.”
Junior Dayna Hansen led the Tiger offensive with 17 points while grabbing 12 rebounds. Freshman Danielle Jenkins came off the bench to tally 17 rebounds of her own.
Patterson also benefited from 12 points from Craven, while junior Jovanah Arrington (six rebounds) added seven.
This season, the Tigers are 7-0 in the Patterson High gymnasium. Dating back to spring 2012, they have won 17 straight at home.
“We know we have to keep coming out strong,” Hansen said. “We know that we are the better team, and we have to play like it.”
On Jan. 29, the Tigers traveled to Ceres for a 54-36 victory against Central Valley (9-13, 4-5).
“Good teams can get by on natural talent, but great teams put in the time, work and energy to leave nothing to chance,” Tolleson said. “We want this (league) title way too much to let up now.”
The Tigers close the league season on the road at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12, against Pacheco High of Los Banos (6-15, 0-9).
Ariyanna Cashen had 16 points and 20 rebounds as the Patterson JV team ran away with a 57-37 home win over Los Banos on Thursday.
Patterson’s Julia Sill (six rebounds) scored seven points, and teammates Maria Cortez (six rebounds), Jordynn Schueller (six assists), Idalis Besinaiz, Leanna Lindsey and Stephanie Esqueda each finished with six.
Results for other games were not submitted by press time.
The freshman Tigers lost to the Los Banos Bulldogs 39-10 on Thursday.
Paula Diaz tallied five points and five rebounds and Becky Phul added three points in the losing effort.
Lordes Remirez and Danyelle DeForest each made five rebounds for the Tigers.
Other results were not submitted by press time.
Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or email@example.com.