Elisabeth Alexander wasn’t entirely satisfied with her effort Thursday in the first round of the 37th Annual Tony Contreras Delta Queen Classic at Stagg High.
“I could have done better on defense and I didn’t finish some shots,” she said after Weston Ranch’s 57-45 victory over Atwater.
It was otherwise not too shabby of a night for the CSU Stanislaus-bound wing. She produced 29 points, 14 rebounds and 10 steals for the second triple-double of her three-year varsity career. Her point total is also a career high. Alexander scored in a variety of ways, sinking layups with both hands, hitting from mid-range and dropping two 3s.
Victoria Gulley nearly had a triple-double of her own, finishing with seven points, 14 rebounds and six steals.
Alexander was a steadying influence for her team when things went off track. She accounted for Weston Ranch’s first nine points of the second half and scored 13 of its 17 points in the third quarter.
“I have to stay calm for my team so that we don’t get all riled up,” Alexander said.
The Cougars (3-0) led by as much as 18, 38-20, early in the second quarter, but Atwater (3-4) didn’t go down without a fight. The Falcons rallied for 10 unanswered points in the third to get back in striking distance, 42-34, before Weston Ranch scored the final eight.
Brittany Massa then scored eight straight points all on fastbreak opportunities for Atwater early in the fourth to close in 51-42 and trail by single digits for the final time. Massa paced the Falcons with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Atwater center Chynna Peterson chipped in 12 points, seven rebounds and four blocks.
“We tend to rush things,” Alexander said. “We need to be more patient with the ball instead of looking to score right away.”
Weston Ranch forced 35 turnovers and grabbed 27 offensive rebounds, but coach Chris Bauer felt his team didn’t always take advantage of the opportunities. The Cougars were also 11-for-25 on free throws.
“How many times did we miss on breakaway layups?” he said. “How many times did we have second and third opportunities and didn’t finish it? In a game like this when have a chance to put a team away we have to do it and we didn’t.
“We played hard enough to get a win, and early in the season I’ll take that. Our role players are playing better but we have to be more consistent with what we have to do.”
Patricia King added seven points for the Cougars, who face Merced in the semifinals tonight at 6:30. Jyriaynna King contributed six points, 12 boards and three blocks.