The stage was set Friday, 23, 2018, in Quincy, California, for round two of the CCCAA Playoffs as the number seven ranked Chabot Gladiators match up against the number ninth ranked Feather River Golden Eagles. The all-freshmen (18-5) Lady Gladiators arrived at Feather River (17-8) excited about their first postseason playoff game.
Before the start of the game, I was able to talk to Olivia Vezaldenos, one of the guards for the Gladiators and I asked her what has been the hardest part of the season? She replied, “Getting out of my head in key game situations, and I need to stay focus, remember to keep my composure and just try to lead by example.” You could feel the playoff energy in the gym as more and more Golden Eagle fans, hyped and ecstatic with school spirit filed into the gymnasium.
The game went scoreless the first two minutes as both teams, clearly nervous, tried to find their rhythm. Feather River took a twelve point lead that the Lady Gladiators were able to cut down to five by halftime. Right before the start of the second half, I asked center, Mia Finnie, what she could do to make her team better? She replied, “Talk, Talk more, communication is everything, I just have to make sure I keep talking to my team so we can stay on the same page.”
Feather River continued to pour on the pressure going up by as much as thirteen points in the fourth quarter with six minutes left in the game. Gladiators called a timeout to try and stop the bleeding. I asked head coach Mark Anger what he was most proud of this season? He said, “how we have come together as a group to get this far if we stick together hopefully we will get a little further.”
Stick together is exactly what the Lady Gladiators did going a 13-2 run to win the game by seven in amazing fashion. The final score was 85-78 Gladiators advance to round three where they will meet the number one ranked team Sierra College on March 3, 2018, at Sierra College. Lets Go Gladiators!