Sierra Women's Basketball to compete at state for third consecutive season

Sierra Women's Basketball to compete at state for third consecutive season

The Cinderella story continues for the Sierra College women's basketball team as they defeated Delta 47-44 on Saturday to advance to state for the third straight season.

The Wolverines were down 25-18 at halftime and 38-35 entering the fourth quarter, but played great defense and limited the Mustangs to only six points in the final 10 minutes. Offensively, Sierra was led by freshman Alyssa Premo with a 24-point, 11-rebound double-double. 

"I was focused offensively on doing my part to the best of my ability and just staying strong throughout it all, no matter what the score appeared to be at times," Premo said. "We had been preparing for Delta for some time and so I came into the game with a strong mindset, believing in my abilities and what I knew I was capable of."

Aijah King had another solid performance off the bench with eight points, six rebounds and four assists. The Wolverines grabbed 55 rebounds in the game, their most in the postseason and were led by Julianne Cotterill with 13 including six offensive boards. Despite a rough shooting night for Cotterill, she played great defense with four steals and three blocked shots.

"Basketball is a sport of ups and downs," Cotterill said. "Although my shots weren't falling on offense, I didn't let that stop me from battling on defense. The thing about defense is that it's all about effort. Ultimately, you decide whether you want to work harder than the person you're guarding."

Sierra enters the 2023 CCCAA Women's Basketball Championship as the only team that had to play an extra game for the first round. The Wolverines entered the postseason as the 13th seed in the NorCal Regionals and defeated Chabot at home before taking down Fresno City on the road. Other teams from NorCal to play at state include #1 Butte, #2 Santa Rosa and #3 College of the Sequoias. 

"Going to state as a freshman is surreal," Cotterill said. "I am extremely grateful to be in the position I am with the amazing coaches and team that I'm surrounded with. 

The Wolverines will attempt to defend their state title as they face Orange Coast in the first round on Friday, a team who was ranked third in the most recent state poll on Feb. 6. Orange Coast is 29-1 on the season. 

"Our mindset has to stay strong like it has been throughout all of playoffs and to continue to believe in not only ourselves, but our teammates as well," Premo said. "We have to go into the game while having the mentality to play every game like it's our last and to leave everything that we have on the court."