By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Tomales came out tentative and that was all the edge Ferndale needed as the home team raced to a commanding early lead while winning the NCS Division 6 girls semifinal game, 59-43, on Wednesday night.
After the slow start, the Braves trailed 22-10 after one quarter and 34-20 at halftime.
“I think nerves had a little bit to do with it,” Tomales coach Chris Kenyon said. “We were on the road, playing the top seed and they put us on our heels at the start.
“We missed a few scoring opportunities down low and they shot the ball well. We just dug ourselves too big a hole.”
The Braves fell behind by 25 in the third quarter before rallying in the fourth. Tomales closed the gap to 51-38 with four minutes remaining.
“We got to within 13 and ran out of gas,” Kenyon said. “We played them tough after the first quarter.”
It was Kendra Losa and Megan Earley who proved too much for Tomales.
“Those girls were outstanding,” Kenyon said. “In the first quarter, Losa scored 10 and Earley had eight.”
Losa wound up with 24, five more than Earley.
Raelynne Talafili took high point honors for the Braves with 16. That’s double her season average. She also pulled down nine rebounds.
Sara Souza finished with nine on a trio of 3-point goals and Kayla Furlong had a dozen rebounds.
Eight of the 10 players on Tomales’ roster are seniors.
Souza and Janelle Kehoe played all four years on the varsity while Talafili and Furlong were on the team for three years.
“As you’d expect, the girls took the loss hard,” Kenyon said. “It’s never easy losing that last game, especially if you’re a senior.”
Tomales, the No. 4 seed in the tournament, finished the season with a 19-11 record.