Photos by Peter Brewer The 2017-18 Antioch tournament champions – The JV Lady Wildcats.
Photos by Peter Brewer All tournament winner JV Wildcat Danielle Cunningham.
Concluding their tournament week a little earlier than the rest of Ukiah High School’s basketball teams, the Wildcat girls JV team continued their winning streak and won the Antioch Tournament Championship by defeating the Middletown girls JV team with a final score of 27-21.
This final win of the three game tournament at Antioch was their closest matchup so far, after defeating Northgate High School 48-7 in their first round and toppling Alhambra High School with a final score of 38-13 in the second round.
“They (Middletown) played a really aggressive and good game,” described the Wildcats JV Head Coach Shawn Cox. “They took advantage of turnovers, but we ended up pulling it out at the end”.
The Middletown JV Mustangs had stayed in the game, trailing by only a single basket at the half, and keeping the scoring tied throughout the third quarter. Ukiah relied heavily on their defense to stay ahead of the Lady Mustangs.
“We played really good defense,” added Coach Cox. “Most of Middletown’s points came off of turnovers and just little mistakes that we made. But it was tough for them to make clean shots off of our defense”.
Offensively, the JV Lady Wildcats had struggled with maintaining possession of the ball.
“Offensively, we turned the ball over too much. We forced a lot of passes. They played a zone and it was hard for us to break that. We’ll definitely be working on moving the ball better. Ball breaks, passing and squaring up to the basket”.
Leading the scoring for the Ukiah JV team was sophomore Danielle Cunningham, who had scored 10 points against Middletown but also had earned All Tourney for her role with the Ukiah High team. Cunningham had shot three field goals, had gone 4 for 6 from the free throw line and had made a double-double with 11 rebounds against the Lady Mustangs. Cunningham was also named player of the game against Middletown.
Sophomore Mikayla Knight shot for 6 points and earned MVP for the Antioch Tournament. Knight had shot 3 field goals and had 2 steals against Middletown in the tournament championship. Mikayla was also named player of the game against both Northgate and Alhamba.
Aliany Marquez (Freshman) earned 4 points with two baskets, had 7 rebounds and 1 steal. Sophomores Desaraie Cox and Emily Cossen each scored 3 points with a single trey apiece.
M.town: 8 – 3 – 6 – 4: Final: 21
Ukiah: 11 – 2 – 6 – 8: Final: 27
The JV Wildcats are now 10-2 for their season and 0-1 in league play after their close first league game loss to Montgomery – one of the league’s leading basketball programs – with a final score of 32-31. The Ukiah girls will play the next of the league’s leading programs, Cardinal Newman High School, at home on Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, at 6 p.m.
Coach Cox explained how he was preparing his to team to face the JV Lady Cardinals, “They run a man to pressure offense, so we’re going to be prepared to create offense and work on our man offense and continue to get better”.
Cox added, “The girls gave 100 percent and fought til the end. I’m proud of the progress that we’re making and I’m proud of how they perfomed at this tournament”.
Jeff Weston has been with the Daily Journal for several years and was promoted to sports editor in June, 2014. He covers all the prep sports and began his sports writing for the UDJ covering local roller derby. Reach the author at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow Jeff on Twitter: @UdjJeff.