NCS girls basketball tournament: Late comeback boosts Windsor to 57-54 win

By ALLIE COLOSKY

FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

After only taking the lead with a minute remaining in the game, the Windsor High School girls basketball team held on to beat Alameda High School, 57-54, Friday night in Windsor in a North Coast Section Division 2 playoff game.

With one final possession for the Jaguars, Hannah May received a sideline pass and was supposed to drive to the basket, Jaguars head coach Jeff Paul said.

“She pulled up and hesitated,” Paul explained, “and she baited the girl to come over. I can’t believe they left Jess (Barbosa) open but we are thankful for that.”

The unexpected change led to a final bucket from Barbosa to cushion the lead as Windsor sealed its second-round win.

The team also earned a Northern California regional tournament berth by advancing.

“I was a little scared at first,” May admitted, “but then I saw her wide open and I knew she was going to make it.”

The Jaguars trailed for the majority of the game, after they gave up too many points in the second quarter to Alameda’s leading scorers Maddy Lewis and Lisa Bertholdt, Paul said.

“They were just hard to stop,” he said. “When we got in foul trouble, their numbers definitely went up.”

Windsor’s Sabrina Simili said it was crucial to think of every play separately and not get discouraged by the Hornets’ shooting, as Lewis and Bertholdt finished with a combined 38 of Alameda’s 54 points.

“You have to stay strong through the whole process,” Simili said.

May led the Jaguars in the first half, sinking four shots from the perimeter, while Barbosa came alive in the second half, making 16 of her total 18 points.

“We rely on them a lot,” Paul said of Windsor’s two leading scorers.

Once May finds her rhythm, her outside shot is key, and Barbosa continues to prove her athleticism the more she plays, he said.

After a bucket from Gabby Giddings to take the lead late in the fourth quarter, May and Barbosa completed their dominance for the Jaguars.

“I just kept thinking that I have to make this,” Barbosa said of her basket in the closing minute of the game. “I just knew that I had to get it.”

Barbosa finished with 18 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals, while May finished with 17 points, five rebounds and three assists.

It was the team’s ability to move the ball that gave May as many opportunities as she had, she said.

Allie Feland hit three shots from beyond the arc to tally nine points, while Giddings finished with five points and five rebounds. Simili recorded eight points and a steal.

The Jaguars improved to 18-11 overall as they move on in the NCS playoffs, where they will face the winner of the Montgomery-Dublin game.

The key for the Jaguars will be to continue with the success in their shooting, as well as working on the fundamentals all around, Barbosa said.

“We want the shooting to continue,” Paul added. “We’ve struggled with that all season and we finally got that consistent shooting.