ORINDA, CA – Miramonte relied on long-distance shooting and efficiency from the free throw line in a 75-71 victory over Clovis North on Thursday night at the Matadome. Miramonte (5-1) withstood a torrential output from Broncos’ guard Savannah Tucker, who lit up the court with 38 points, five steals, four rebounds, and three blocks. Erin Tarasow sank seven shots from beyond the arc to account for all of her 21 points, and Mia Mastrov tallied 17 points, eight rebounds, and three assists for the Matadors.
“Live and die by the three, and we lived to talk about it,” Miramonte coach Kelly Sopak said. “I think our kids have really bought in to ‘Hey, we have to be a tough team.’ And that’s why down the stretch rebounding, and loose balls…we were able to own that part of the game. We struggled with the press early, but they kept at it with the game plan.”
The game featured 10 lead-changes, the last of them coming with five minutes remaining when Jordan Allred converted a pair of free throws to give the Mats a 55-54 advantage. Up until that moment, the difference for either side was almost always three or less.
After Tucker scored to make it 60-58 Miramonte with four minutes to go, the game went largely to the charity stripe as both teams entered the double bonus. Mastrov, Allred, Amerika De Los Santos, Emily Huston, and Rebecca Welsh combined to go 13-for-16 from the line thereafter. De Los Santos, in addition to answering Tucker’s basket with a coast-to-coast run, made seven free throws in the fourth quarter alone and finished with 13 points. Mastrov and Welsh hit from downtown three times each, with the latter having a 10-point night to round out the Mats’ double-digit scorers.
“Credit to them, they’re a very good team,” Clovis North coach Heather Long said. “Even when they continued to hit, we struggled through adversity and found a way to keep coming back. That part I was proud of.”
Grace Webb added 19 points and 12 rebounds, and Laney Amundsen chipped in nine points for Clovis North (4-1). Rowan Hein had a fine all-around game, collecting seven rebounds to go along with five points, five assists, and three steals. But it was Tucker who came out of the gate strong and never relented. She had 10 in the first quarter, 11 in the second, and after a relatively quiet third, 15 in the fourth. She made 12 field goals and 14 free throws.
“The offensive rebounding and extra hustle are what killed us,” Tucker commented. “(The travel) was hard but we only have five home games this year so we’re going to have to figure it out. Just to get that competition, as a team we get better every game.”
“They were physical than I was expecting,” Huston stated. “It was different reading (the scouting report) than just being in the game.” The senior, who had eight rebounds, has been an integral role player on recent Mats teams. “Each year we try to focus on the people and the groupings that can make us the best,” she stated, adding that this season height is a challenge.
With just a second left in the game, Webb had a put-back and foul shot to keep the team’s streak of 70-plus points alive. The Broncos had scored at least 71 points and won by at least 19 points in each of their first four games. They now have back-to-back appearances in the highly-anticipated Elite Showcase at Chabot College.
Miramonte was playing its first contest since participation in the La Jolla Country Day Sweet 16 Tournament, in which they won three of four games. The Matadors also are an entrant in the Elite Showcase before they return home to host the John Peyo Mats Tip Off Classic next week.