The Bret Harte High School girls' basketball season came to an unexpected end last night as the Bullfrogs were upset 63-61 by Orestimba of Newman in the second round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs at the Bret Harte gym.
In terms of seeding, it wasn't that much of a surprise as Orestimba was No. 5 and Bret Harte was No. 4. But the Bullfrogs are rarely upended by teams from the Southern League, and they have grown accustomed to at least reaching the semifinals.
"That's the way it goes; you take the good with the bad," Bret Harte coach Mike Lewis said. "We definitely had all the chances in the world, and we didn't take care of business."
The Mother Lode League-champion Bullfrogs (19-11) appeared to be giving SL runner-up Orestimba (20-7) the business late in the third quarter, ripping off a 13-0 run to take a 46-35 lead. But a spate of turnovers helped the Warriors get back in the game, and the fourth quarter was nip-and-tuck.
Orestimba took over with a 7-0 run from 57-54 down to 61-57 up in the last two minutes, taking the lead for good, 58-57, on a swooping, right-to-left, under-and-up layin by forward Kelli Pon with 1:05 to play. Pon burned Summerville for 30 points in the first round and hit Bret Harte for 29, including 14 in the fourth quarter.
She also played tough defense on Bret Harte's leading scorer, Tawnie Lee, down the stretch and held her scoreless in the fourth quarter until a bucket at the buzzer. Lee had 20 points in the first three quarters.
Orestimba advances to the semifinals for the first time since 1993 (in Division V) to face top-seeded St. Mary's of Stockton (27-3) on Wednesday at Tokay High in Lodi. Warriors coach Kerry McWilliams knows what will probably happen in that game, as St. Mary's has won its first two playoff games by an average of 60.5 points, so he's going to enjoy last night's victory as much as he can.