Giants women's basketball team wins consolation title at Golden Gate Classic

Giants women's basketball team wins consolation title at Golden Gate Classic

By Nick Giannandrea


For the second straight weekend, the College of the Sequoias women's basketball team captured the consolation championship of a tournament full of state-ranked opposition.

Behind 18 points from Sapphire Jones, the No. 14-ranked Giants topped No. 20 Skyline 70-65 on Dec. 18th in the consolation final of the Golden Gate Classic in San Francisco.

Jones, a Hanford High product, also had five steals, three rebounds and an assist to help Sequoias improve to 10-4 on the season.

The Giants also received 14 points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals from Celeste Lewis (Sierra Pacific-Hanford); 13 points, five rebounds, three steals and two assists from Serena Ybarra (Coalinga); nine points, four rebounds and an assist from Nikola Hudson (Florida); and eight points, five rebounds and a steal from Tiana Holland (Washington Union-Easton).

The Giants outlasted Skyline (11-4) by outscoring the Trojans 20-16 in the fourth quarter.

That capped a 2-1 run through the Golden Gate Classic, an event that started with a 66-60 loss in the first round to unranked and eventual tournament champion Santa Rosa on Dec. 16, and a 72-53 victory over West Los Angeles in the consolation semifinals Dec. 17.

Against Santa Rosa, which beat No. 5 Sierra 72-59 in the final, Sequoias fell behind 13-7 after the first quarter and never completely recovered.

Lewis led the Giants with 18 points, four rebounds, two assists and a steal.

Jones added 10 points, three rebounds and an assist, while Hailee Edwards (Ridgeview-Bakersfield) contributed eight points and two steals.

Sequoias overcame a 10-point halftime deficit against West L.A., exploding for 52 points in the second half.

Lewis was the catalyst for the Giants by scoring 24 points (including four 3-pointers) along with six rebounds, four assists, a steal and five blocks.

Holland had nine points and two rebounds; Jones had eight points, two rebounds, four assists and two steals; Hudson had eight points, an assist and a steal; and Ybarra added seven points, four rebounds, an assist and three steals.

The Golden Gate Classic also saw No. 10 San Francisco beat No. 5 East Los Angeles 72-63 for third place, and West L.A. edge Napa Valley 71-70 for seventh place.

The Giants won the consolation title of their Gilcrest Invitational, a tournament that featured seven regionally ranked teams at the time, with a 66-48 defeat of then Southern California No. 5 Ventura on Dec. 4

Sequoias has concluded its nonconference schedule.

The Giants are set to open Central Valley Conference play at 5 p.m. Jan. 5 at Taft (2-9).

Sequoias' next home game is set for 7 p.m. Jan. 12 against Merced (6-7) in the nightcap of a doubleheader with the men's team, which plays at 5 p.m.

The CVC features two other state-ranked teams in No. 3 Fresno City (11-1) and No. 16 West Hills-Lemoore (10-3).