The Bullfrogs defeated the Summerville Bears 44-23 on Thursday night in Tuolumne and that coming on the heels of Tuesday’s 21-point demolition of the Linden Lions.
A victory tonight over the Amador Buffaloes, who are winless in the MLL so far this season, would likely push the Bullfrogs into playoff contention when the latest Sac-Joaquin Power Ratings are released on Monday.
Bret Harte has already beaten Amador with ease twice this year but will face a tough stretch of games to close out the season. Next week, they host 22-0 Argonaut on Tuesday and the reigning Section champs Calaveras on Friday.
Bullfrogs head coach Ronnie Davis said the turning point for the team, which has struggled to stay healthy the past couple of weeks with several players battling the flu, came after a tough 55-24 loss to the Redskins on Jan. 25.
“We made a point after that game that we were gonna get healthy and make a run at the playoffs starting with the last round of league — and that’s exactly what we’re doing,” he said. “Our girls’ confidence is building, and they are starting to identify and fix areas they’ve struggled with in the past. They’re starting to get stronger from a mental standpoint and believe in themselves, which is a good thing. I think we’re gonna be able to play really tough over these next couple weeks.”
One specific part of the game Davis has been focusing on in practices is rebounding, and his Bullfrogs have responded.
In Thursday’s win against Summerville, the Bullfrogs out-rebounded the Bears 37-27 with Sami Seider pulling down a game-high 11 boards for Bret Harte.
“One of our biggest areas of concern has been rebounding, so we made it priority No. 1,” Davis said. “If we want to compete with teams like Calaveras and Argonaut, then we’ve gotta fix it — and our girls have been doing a really good job with that.”
Bret Harte’s Kelsey Switzer pulled down 10 rebounds while also scoring a game-high 19 points for a double-double. She also had six steals and three assists.
Summerville kept it close against Bret Harte through the first quarter with the Bullfrogs leading 8-7 after eight minutes. Bret Harte led 21-15 at halftime but would pull away in the third quarter outscoring the Bears 14-3.
“I thought they played really well on defense,” Switzer said of Summerville in the first half. “But I think we finally got the hang of it and moved the ball around well in the second.”
Also for the Bullfrogs, Riley Preston had four points and five rebounds, Haley Warner had two points and three assists and Cassidy Davis drained her team’s only 3-pointer of the night.
For Summerville, Ashley Gamber scored a team-high 10 points and grabbed five boards. Krysta Calkins added seven points including a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter.
“I think Taylor Leslie was great under the basket for us, Caitie Egger did a good job rebounding and Krysta (Calkins) gave it 100 percent all night,” said Gamber of her teammates.
Leslie played strong defense and led her team’s rebounding with seven boards. Summerville’s Caitie Egger grabbed six rebounds and scored two points.
“I just think our shooting was off tonight,” said Summerville’s Taylor Leslie. “I feel like we did really good on defense and could’ve competed, but we were just off.”
The Bears (7-16, 4-7 MLL) will travel to Jackson tonight where they face undefeated Argonaut before taking on the Calaveras Redskins on Tuesday in San Andreas.
“(Argonaut) is a really good basketball program,” said Gamber. “We’re expecting them to shoot the ball a lot better, so we’re going to have to come firing back.”