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Bret Harte beats Argo to clinch MLL title

With a 45-35 road win over Argonaut, the Bret Harte girls’ basketball team clinched the Mother Lode League title.

The Bullfrogs captured their first championship since the 2005 season.

“It feels good,” said Bret Harte second-year head coach Ronnie Davis. “It feels good for multiple reasons. I’m really happy for my girls. This is what they worked so hard for. This is what they wanted and they achieved their goal. To fulfill your goal is really rewarding. It’s rewarding for them. It’s rewarding for the coaching staff. For everybody. To go on the road, and do it, is even that much better. We knew we pretty much sealed the deal by winning tonight.”

Bret Harte surged to a 17-9 lead after the first quarter thanks in part to an impressive performance by junior guard Sydney Davis.

With Argonaut game planning around Bullfrog stars Kelsey Switzer and Jessie Evans, Davis was left, often times, wide open.

And she took advantage of her opportunities.

Davis sank seven of her nine points in the opening period.

“She came out on fire,” Davis said. “And that made them change their game plan. They were going to have to start guarding her, and not letting her open, because she made them pay.”

However, Argonaut came charging back and outscored Bret Harte 14-8 in the second stanza.

The Bullfrogs led by just two points entering the break.

But after allowing 14 points in the second, Bret Harte’s defensive pressure pulled through.

The Bullfrogs dropped a combined 20 points in the second half and held Argonaut to 12. The Mustangs managed to post just four and eight points in the third and fourth quarters, respectively.

“We just stuck to our game plan,” Davis said. “Our game plan was to push them out. No dribble penetration, and to force them shoot from the perimeter.”

Switzer scored a team-high 19 points and Evans chipped in eight. Sam Crabtree added seven points and Amanda Chaney had two.

“It was a team effort,” Davis said. “Five out of the seven players that played scored points.” 

The Bullfrogs grabbed 36 rebounds, including six offensive boards. Breanna Ziehlke hauled in a team-best eight, and both Davis and Evans finished with six. Switzer had five.

“Owning the defensive boards is the key,” Davis said. “If you have 30 defensives rebounds that means they are not going to get any second-chance opportunities.”

Bret Harte (21-4, 12-1 MLL) looks to extend its nine-game winning streak when it travels to face cross-county rival Calaveras (16-9, 10-3 MLL) on Friday at Mike Flock Gym.

“We’re excited,” Davis said. “We know we have two games left in league, and we know that we’re going to the playoffs. We should have a high playoff seed. We need to stay healthy. We want to see how we do in playoffs. It’s exciting that we went over to Argonaut and won. But we have a tough one coming up on Friday. Calaveras away. It’s our rival. We’ll starting preparing for that one.”

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