NCS girls basketball: Windsor knocks off Mt. Eden 46-31

By ALLIE COLOSKY
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

WINDSOR — Andrea Flinn couldn’t lose the wide grin after Windsor’s 46-31 victory Tuesday night against Mt. Eden in the first round of the North Coast Section playoffs.

It won’t be a “one-and-done” playoff campaign for the Jaguars, she said, and beating the visiting Monarchs at home made it even sweeter.

“It’s super exciting,” said Flinn, who nailed four 3-pointers. “We haven’t done this in a while. We’re pumped.”

The Jaguars jumped out to a 12-5 lead with the help of two 3-pointers from Flinn. Kelsey Strom continued to penetrate the key and scored all of her six points in the first half to help Windsor to a 27-20 lead.

“We actually hit some outside shots tonight,” Windsor head coach Jeff Paul said. “That was the key for us. Our defense has been with us all season long; we just needed to score more.”

Deja Jackson led Mt. Eden with 13 points, all coming in the first half.

The Monarchs cut the deficit to five points, but couldn’t overcome the Jaguars’ rebounding. Windsor outrebounded Mt. Eden 33-16.

“We have our droughts, but tonight we were able to overcome that,” Paul said. “Both our defense and our offense showed up.”

Jenni Higashi led the Jaguars with six rebounds and hit a 3-pointer, as well.

“We really moved the ball well and really trusted each other,” Flinn said. “Obviously we wanted to win and I think the (intensity) of playoffs really helped.”

Both teams started the second half with little offense as they combined for only nine points in the third quarter. The Jaguars shut out the Monarchs for six minutes before Aiyanna Gallegos hit a 3-pointer to end the drought.

Jessica Barbosa said she found her confidence in the second half when she scored 10 of her total 13 points.

“She typically has a slow first half,” Paul said. “(She) comes in a little nervous. But once she gets going, she’s OK.”

Barbosa also finished with five rebounds.

“I felt like I could have done much better, and I tried a lot harder,” Barbosa said. “My shot was really off, but I felt more confident (in the second half.)”

Seven players got on the board for the Jaguars. Kerianne Noonan notched six points and four rebounds, while Zoe Brook and Hayden Turrini chipped in two points each.

“It’s not typical, but that is what we expect,” Paul said of the offensive effort. “Tonight they were able to come together a little better.”

Noonan was a strong defensive presence, Paul said, and she finished with three assists, as well.

“She didn’t have as stellar offensive game tonight,” he said, “but she does so much for us as far as ball handling and her defensive presence. She’s got to be in the game for us.”

Angelica Leano and Kristine Carpio finished with five points each for Mt. Eden, while Ferrynn Steen and Jessica Amen added three and two points, respectively. Sabrina Shell snagged three rebounds, as well.

Windsor improved its record to 20-8 overall and will host Ukiah, a 52-50 winner over Redwood, on Friday in the second round. Mt. Eden fell to 16-11 overall.

The momentum from Tuesday night’s offense will need to carry over to their next challenge, Paul said.

“We need to have a little more patience on offense,” Paul said of improvements he hopes to make before Friday’s game. “We tend to start shooting the ball because we think we have to, but we were patient against their zone tonight.”

The Jaguars committed 11 turnovers in the win, and Barbosa hopes to clean up her own shuffling feet, she said.

“It’s surprising because in preseason I didn’t travel much, so I really want to work on that,” she said. “Instead of thinking quick and doing quick, I was in a hurry without actually thinking about it.”

Even with her traveling mistakes, she said, it was a good win for Windsor.

“It was such a great win,” Barbosa said. “We really felt it.”

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