The Cats and the Lancers opened up the Presentation Shootout with a fierce battle Saturday afternoon. The energy was high from the jump, but it didn’t initially translate to points for either team. The game remained scoreless for the first two minutes before the Lancers knocked the lid off of the hoop with an offensive put back. Despite the slow start, the Lancers put up 17 in the quarter to the Cats 10, all of which came inside: two layups from junior Ashley Poshard and another from sophomore Natalie Anthony, along with two free-throws for each of them.
The Wildcats turned up the heat in the second quarter, scoring 7 quick points to tie the game and keeping the defensive pressure on the Lancers, who were limited to launching three-pointers for most of their offensive possessions in the quarter. They connected on three of them, but the Cats frequently got out in the fast break, leading to two easy buckets for sophomore Morgan Burt and two three-pointers from senior Sabrina Belquist. The Wildcats put up their highest quarter production of the year to take the lead 31 – 29 going into halftime.
Continued defensive pressure in the second half kept the Lancers mostly contained, but the Cats were not able to score in the third, held to just 4 points coming from a Belquist bucket and free-throws. Los Gatos did not allow the Lancers to get a three-pointer in the quarter but gave up a few baseline drives leading to Lancer scores.
The Lancers maintained a 6- to 12-point lead through most of the quarter. The Cats, led by junior Olivia Lo’s aggressive drives to the hoop, kept the game within reach but could not make the shot that would have put them within three. They did cut the lead to 5 with forty seconds left, but the Lancers held on for the win.
The Cats had three scorers in double figures: Belquist with 16, Poshard with 12, and Lo with 10. Freshman Casey Brennan got on the board with an elbow jumper off of a screen-and-roll in the fourth. The Cats record is now 4 – 3, as they head into the Del Mar tournament starting Friday, December 27.