HHS Girls Basketball
Hughson girls basketball team falls in second round; boys, girls soccer teams also lose in playoffs

“We were overwhelmed.” That’s the succinct summary of Hughson girls basketball coach Tim May after the Huskies fell 78-18 to a much better Marysville team in the second round of the Sac-Joaquin Division IV playoffs last week.

The fifth-seeded Huskies (22-7) were clearly the underdog on the road against No. 4 Marysville (26-4), especially with Hughson’s best player – senior point guard Olivia Fiveash – unable to play because of a left knee injury suffered Jan. 26.

“They overwhelmed us with pressure and length and size,” May said. “They were just a good basketball team. They played a press the whole game. At the end of the day, we just ran out of magic.”

The lopsided end of the season in no way diminishes the success the Huskies achieved this year. Topping that list was tying with Riverbank for Hughson’s first Trans-Valley League basketball title since 1986. Both teams finished the league season at 11-1, with each winning on the other’s home court.

Hughson also knocked off Riverbank in the Pitman Classic tournament title game after Christmas and is the only team to beat the Bruins (25-3) twice this year.

“Despite the last game, I’m still extremely proud of this team,” said May. “We’re going to lose our seniors, but we’ve got half the team returning next year and could still compete for a TVL title.”

Not having Fiveash was a big blow to Hughson’s playoff dreams this year, though. A four-year starter, she averaged 15.3 points, 3.8 steals and 2.5 steals per game.

“I knew a couple of weeks ago she probably wasn’t going to be able to play the rest of this year, but I didn’t tell the team that,” May admitted.

The Huskies didn’t need Fiveash in the first round as they breezed to a 65-32 victory over No. 12 Sutter.

Junior Kareena Kang scored 15 points, senior Alexandra Gehrke had 11 points and 11 rebounds, and junior Madi Duron had 10 points in that home victory.

But even with Fiveash, beating Marysville would have been a tall order.

“We put a lot of pressure on Sutter, but there was a huge step up in talent in the second round and that’s what we went up against,” May said. “It’s one thing to be good around here, but if you’re not playing the best basketball at the right time, you’re not going to last. No excuses. Sometimes it’s humbling. We played a pretty tough preseason and battled all year long.”

Even without Hughson, the TVL will be well-represented when the playoffs resume Tuesday night. Riverbank, seeded third, faces TVL rival and No. 10 seed Escalon (19-8) in one semifinal while No. 1 Colfax (28-2) hosts Marysville in the other.

The championship game will be played Friday afternoon at the Golden One Center in Sacramento.

The girls basketball team wasn’t the only Hughson squad involved in the Section playoffs last week. Both the boys and girls soccer teams also qualified, but saw their seasons come to an end.

The boys, seeded fifth in the Division V bracket, lost 2-1 to Venture Academy (21-1-1) in the first round. The Huskies finished 8-6-5.

The Hughson girls, also seeded fifth, were beaten 5-2 by No. 4 Ben Holt Academy (15-4-2) in the first round. The Huskies wound up 6-11-4 overall.