The old adage in sports that says “that’s why they play the game” became an unfortunate reality for both the Willows and Hamilton girls basketball teams when they were toppled by lower seeds in the second round of the NSCIF playoffs.
Last Thursday turned into day of reckoning as the No.1 seeded Willows Honkers suffered a stunning 55-52 defeat at the hands of No. 9 Wheatland in Division IV playoffs, while No. 4 Hamilton was upended 38-17 by No. 5 Colusa in Division V.
Despite a five-point advantage heading into the fourth period, the Honkers were outscored 21-13 in the final quarter by the visiting Pirates and saw their dreams of another section title fall by the wayside.
Playing in her final game for the purple and gold, senior Meghan Weinrich registered her 14th double-double of the season with 19 points and 10 rebounds and still finished the year as the Northern Section’s leading scorer averaging 27.8 points per game.
Also completing their playing days for the Honkers were Tayler Berens who added 10 points, Kendyl Garcia with nine points and Hanna Parisio who collected nine rebounds.
As a team, the Honkers (24-4) were the Sacramento Valley League champions and now look to reload as they will lose five players off this year’s squad to graduation.
In Hamilton City on Feb. 20, the Braves never found a rhythm as the RedHawks shutdown their transition game and allowed just three players to break into the scoring column throughout the rubber match between the two division rivals.
Senior Berenize Trujillo-Mendoza tossed in a team-high seven points while fellow senior Ally Ponke added six points and junior Madison Pankratz added four points.
However the Braves (17-12), Mid-Valley League’s second place team, are relatively young and could potentially return nine players next season which could put them back in the mix of things.