Tuesday, January 25, 2022

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Lady Bears claim Ernst Classic title

The Pierce Bears were the champions at the 2021 Jim Ernst Classic after downing Colusa 50-21.

Pierce’s girls basketball team turned in a dominant performance over three games at the 33rd Annual Jim Ernst Classic in Colusa, which ran Dec. 2-4, and, as a result, served notice that they are a force to be reckoned with this season.

In what was likely the first championship won by the Bears, in the tournament, they outscored their opponents by an average of 17 points per game, as they posted wins over Clear Lake, Sutter, and Colusa.

One reason for the Bears’ success was the play of junior Jocelyn Medina, who shattered the tournament scoring record, dropping 105 points in three contests, for an average of 35 points per game.

Described by her coach, Taylor McGuire, as a “heavy hitter” on the court, Medina put her shorthanded team on her back last Saturday night against Colusa, pouring in 38 points, and leading the Bears to the 51-20 win and the championship.

Still, despite Medina’s heroics, the Bears were down four players, due to COVID protocol, and needed the rest of the team, including Isabel Medina, Mayra Sanchez, Monika Herrera, Jaylianna Valencia, and JV call-up Jocelyn Ramos to rise to the occasion, which they did, deservedly drawing praise from McGuire.

Pierce’s Jocelyn Medina pushes the ball up the court during the Bears’ win over Clear Lake at the Jim Ernst Classic in Colusa. Medina was the tournament MVP.

“I’m very proud,” McGuire said. “Jocelyn was awesome, and the other girls stepped up and did everything they were supposed to do.  I really couldn’t ask for more.”

To get to the final game, Pierce defeated Clear Lake 61-56 in the first round, then dismissed Sutter 54-40 in the second.

Medina was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, while Sanchez and Valencia received All-Tournament nods.

As for the RedHawks, who downed Woodland Christian 51-27 in their opener and then got a 43-19 win over Durham, their first since 2011, it was a strong showing, in spite of the loss to the Bears.

Senior Abby Myers was named to the All-Tournament team after averaging nearly 10 points per game and was joined by freshman Danica Chavez, who showed not only great court vision and poise, but also an ability to hit big shots.

Pierce (3-1) was on the road in Sacramento to face Capital Christian on Monday, home to Central Valley on Tuesday and returns to Sacramento today to commence play in the Valley High School Tournament.

Colusa (2-2) was also back in action having traveled to Lower Lake on Monday and is heading to Durham for the Lady Trojan Classic that runs Dec. 9-11.

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