Wildcats girls’ hoops beat Kern Valley, 42-30
By Mike Miller
After earning a first-round bye, the Lady Wildcats of Villanova (18-7, 10-0) got their first taste of play-off basketball last Saturday when they played host to the Kern Valley Broncs (17-7, 6-4) and came away with a 42-30 win.
Despite being a low-scoring affair, the game was exciting and was closer than the final score would show. VPS set the tone early in the game with their defense and did not allow the Broncs to get many good looks at the basket. Freshman Hannah Kolbeck paced the Lady Wildcats early with seven first-half points, and she controlled the inside game for VPS.
After the first quarter, VPS had a 10-4 lead and they were able to stretch that to 23-13 at halftime thanks in large part to the play of Kaitilin Reilley and Maryrose Vigorita, who along with Kolbeck scored all but two of the Wildcats’ first half points.
The Broncs, who play in the High Desert League, came out in the second half behind the shooting of guard Lupita Anzaldo and proved that they would be worthy opponents. Late in the third quarter, Kern Valley cut the VPS lead to seven points and appeared to be on the verge of making a run at the Wildcats.
Those hopes were dashed when freshman Madison Harwell hit two big second half shots and grabbed a few key rebounds to slam the door on Kern Valley’s momentum.
Kolbeck led the Wildcats in scoring with 12 points, followed by Reilley, who scored 10. Anzaldo led all scorers with 16 points in a losing effort.
With the win, the Lady Wildcats have advanced to the quarterfinals tonight against Rosamond at 7:30 p.m. The Roadrunners come to town with a 23-3, 10-0 record and they are riding a 14-game win streak, just one shy of the Lady Wildcat’s 15-game streak.
The winner will take on the winner of the La Reina vs. Whittier Christian game in the semifinals on Saturday. Check ojaivalleynews.com for tonight’s play-offs updates.