Lady Wolverines battle back in fourth quarter to beat Folsom Lake

Sierra for layup against Folsom.
Image courtesy of Isaac Lee

The Sierra College women’s basketball team progressed to 6-2 in the Big 8 Conference with a 76-64 win over Folsom Lake on Wednesday at Warrior Arena at William Jessup University. 

The victory didn’t come easy as while the Wolverines held a 19-15 lead at the end of the first quarter, the Falcons played well in the second and third periods to lead 55-49 going into the final eight minutes. Folsom Lake was led by Corrie Harrison and Alysa Lopez who both finished with 17 and the Falcons shot 42 percent from three. 

Sierra had a big run to open the fourth quarter and kept it going as they played phenomenal defense limiting FLC to only nine points. Offensively, the Lady Wolverines were led by sophomore Alyssa Premo with 26 points while freshman Katie Leeth had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. 

“For myself, it was just finding the holes in the defense and being more patient,” Premo said. “As a team, we just had to settle down and apply more pressure because in the first half we let them control the game.”

Premo is one of five sophomores for Sierra to go along with five freshmen.

“Making our run in the playoffs, we obviously know what it takes to get really far as a team,” Premo said. “Keeping the family aspect and not letting each others heads get down is really important.”

Soleil Carriga also scored 13 points while Julianne Cotterill had nine points and 14 boards. Another aspect that led Sierra to success down the stretch was grabbing offensive rebounds that led to second or third chance opportunities. The Wolverines finished with 18 offensive boards compared to five for the Falcons.

“We did a great job on the rebounds which allowed us to control tempo and be able to push our offense and get out and run on them,” Wolverines coach Brandie Murrish said. “We have two of the best rebounders in the entire conference and the tenacity of Julianne Cotterill, Katie Leeth and Mikayla Bumgarner to get in there and continue to be physical… really just secure the boards that they were getting touches on in the first quarter.”

It was also the first game of the season for Lincoln High alumna Madison Barr-Zvelty who finished with two rebounds and a steal. 

Sierra is now 12-8 on the season, are 22nd in the CCCWBCA rankings, and only trail Cosumnes River and Delta in the Big 8 by one game. They will face Modesto on Friday before traveling to American River on Tuesday.

“We’re just going to work on what we can control, which is coming out with great defensive effort, taking care of the ball, and continuing to play inside and out,” Murrish said. “That’s definitely part of our strength is taking care of the paint, but our ability to hit shots from the outside is going to be huge for us in the second half of the conference.”