RIPON — For much of the night, the Hilmar High girls basketball team’s main objective was to stop Oakdale High dangerous guard Cassandra Clark.
“We didn’t do a very good job of that,” Hilmar coach Don Inman said.
But the Yellowjackets did everything else just fine, including making clutch shots to earn a 47-42 win in Wednesday night’s championship game of the annual Ripon Christian High Tournament.
The biggest basket came with 1 minute, 25 seconds left to play, when junior guard Keeley Pettigrew knocked in a 3-pointer to give the Yellowjackets a 46-40 lead. That was enough cushion to improve to a 9-3 overall mark before heading into Tuesday’s Trans Valley League home opener against Ripon High.
“Oakdale has some big kids and Oakdale kind of forced us to change the plan and spread it,” Inman said. “And give credit to our shooters for getting the job done.”
Ashlan Wickstrom led Hilmar with 17 points, as teammates Morgan McFaddin and Alicia Paine finished with 11 and 9 points, respectively. In all, the Yellowjackets finished with five 3-pointers.
The contributions came on another standout night for Clark, who totaled 28 points.
Still, Hilmar managed to come back from an eight-point first-half deficit before taking over the lead for good in the third period. It was the kind of effort that the Yellowjackets hope to carry over into league action.
“The way we played tonight, we didn’t give up the whole game,” Wickstrom said. “That shows us for the rest of the season that we can maintain that level of intensity and drive.”
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