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California closes regular season with win at Blair Oaks

California closes regular season with win at Blair Oaks

February 17th, 2017 by Jason Strickland in Sports

WARDSVILLE — For nearly a quarter and a half, it looked as though Blair Oaks and California would go back and forth all night.

The Lady Falcons led the Lady Pintos 17-16 at the 5:35 mark of the second quarter. The game took a turn after that.

Gracie George put California up 18-17 with second-chance basket and the Lady Falcons never had the lead again as the Lady Pintos took advantage of turnovers and rebounding in a 64-42 win Thursday in Tri-County Conference play.

"The first quarter we executed and about four minutes into the second quarter we stopped executing," Blair Oaks coach Kevin Kohler said.

Blair Oaks had an 8-2 advantage in turnovers in the first quarter. That nearly flipped in the second quarter as the Lady Falcons turned it over seven times to only two giveaways for the Lady Pintos.

California went on a 10-0 run in a 4-minute span to lead 26-17.

Elizabeth Lutz, who shot 6-of-13 from beyond the arc on her way to a game-high 27 points, added a 3-pointer with less than a minute left before halftime.

Kellie Fredendall, who led the Lady Falcons with 12 points, got a layup in the final seconds to make the halftime score 31-22 California.

Brooke Boessen scored the first points of the second half on a pair of free throws before Lutz made back-to-back 3s.

"When we had them down we were — the mental part of it — we were OK," Kohler said. "Then we kind of got out of our game and then were struggling in the second half."

Halie Rackers and Sarah Wolken each made a jumper for Blair Oaks, but the Lady Falcons were limited to three points in the final 3:30 of the third quarter.

California scored six points in that span, including four off offensive rebounds. California finished with a 38-27 edge on the glass.

"Something I didn't expect tonight," California coach Bobby Sangster said. "Really didn't expect it tonight. As well as Blair Oaks does on the boards, I challenged the girls, we talked about it. Box out, attack, attack, attack, attack. The girls did a fantastic job of using our speed and quickness to get to the basketball."

Lutz led the Lady Pintos with seven rebounds. George and Kayla Allison each had five.

Boessen and Fredendall had seven and five rebounds, respectively, for Blair Oaks. Boessen also had 10 points.

Blair Oaks struggled at times to get the ball inside, leading to jump shots. The Lady Falcons shot 1-of-11 from 3-point range.

"We didn't get our inside game going," Kohler said. "A lot of our gameplan we didn't execute. We'll have to do better Monday against Father Tolton."

Blair Oaks (13-12, 3-4 Tri-County Conference) will be back at home Monday as it hosts the Class 3 District 9 Tournament.

The Lady Falcons are seeded seventh and face second seed Father Tolton at 7:30 p.m.

"They are a lot bigger than we are," Kohler said. "We'll have to get tough to be able to handle that."

California (19-5, 5-2) heads to Versailles for the Class 3 District 13 Tournament.

The second-seeded Lady Pintos will face Knob Noster at 7 p.m. Monday.

California won Thursday's JV game 60-23.

Blair Oaks won the freshman contest 38-31.