Almost a year ago to the date, the Marysville High girls basketball team was limping home after a tough 69-35 loss at eventual section champion Dixon in the quarterfinals of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV girls basketball playoffs.
The Indians were dead set on history not repeating itself Thursday night when fifth-seeded Hughson came to town to try and upset No. 4 Marysville’s bid to its first-ever SJS Final Four.
The game was over almost before it started.
That’s because Marysville jumped out to a 19-5 first-quarter lead and expanded on it from there, courtesy of a 30-8 second quarter run that propelled it to a 49-14 halftime lead and eventual 76-18 win over Hughson, earning that elusive bid to the semifinals and a third try at top-seeded Colfax (28-2) at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Placer County.
“The Dixon game (last year) showed my girls what they want to be like, what they want to (play) like,” Marysville coach Marvin Prince said. “I told the girls that if you don’t ever want to feel like this again look at how they play and let’s go redo that. Play like they play and we should end up like they end up.”
Marysville, which won its school record 26th win to four defeats, harassed Hughson (22-7), co-champions of the Trans Valley League, to the tune of over 20 turnovers thanks to an uptempo trapping defense with the help of athletic guards Demi Boykin and Sophia Rogers. Both Rogers and Boykin routinely turned defensive gems into offense all night.
Rogers hit five of her 20 points in 23 seconds of the second-quarter quarter run, while Boykin began the second with a steal and pass to Rogers, who converted at the other end.
“When all of us move well and as one our defense is great,” Prince said.
Rogers, one of multiple seniors dealt the difficult blow a year ago with the road defeat, said redemption began in the offseason with multiple workouts.
“We practice everyday as soon as summer starts – an hour or two of running,” Rogers said. “We don’t stop.”
Rogers looks to be on a postseason mission with 23 points and 10 steals in Tuesday’s playoff opening win against Ripon. She followed with 20 and a couple huge second-half passes to her teammates. In the second half Thursday with Marysville holding a huge lead, Rogers worked Karisma and Krystal Briggs – both of whom were present a year ago at Dixon – in the post to push the lead to 68-16 in the third quarter. Krystal Briggs, just a junior, dropped in 10 of her 14 in the second half, while Karisma Briggs added 13, including nine during Marysville’s first-half explosion. All in all, it was a recipe for disaster for Hughson and opportunity for Marysville against Colfax again. Marysville lost both its league games to Colfax this year.
“It’s for that day,” said Rogers, on what it takes Tuesday night. “We all just have to come out, play hard and lift each other up when we are down. It’s a mentally straining game with Colfax because they are a good team.”
Prince said at this point he puts his team up against anybody.
“It should be a great matchup as long as we do what we plan to do and don’t let no one dictate our style,” Prince said. “I put us up against anybody.”