SHINGLE SPRINGS — Four of the 156 Sac-Joaquin Section basketball teams participating in Monday’s Foundation Games were in action at Ponderosa High as the Bruins hosted Christian Brothers for a varsity girls/boys doubleheader.
The unofficial lead-in to the 2011-12 season — games that don’t count toward standings, power rankings or contacts — had the Falcons winning twice: 66-57 in the girls opener and 55-51 in the boys game that followed.
The annual Foundation Games help raise funds for the A. Dale Lacky scholarships that are awarded to a number of student-athletes each year.
After Jacquelyn Curto’s bucket gave the Lady Bruins a 2-0 lead, Christian Brothers ran off the next 11 points and led the rest of the way. Ponderosa stuck with the Sacramento-area team but came no closer than six points.
Falcon Ishana Burch scored 20 of her game-high 24 points in the first half. Christian Brothers sank six three-pointers in the first half, five coming in the second quarter as the Falcons built a 41-30 advantage.
Ponderosa’s golden opportunity came in the opening of the third quarter when Christian Brothers committed four early turnovers but the Bruins shaved just two points off their deficit. Overall, the Falcons turned the ball over 10 times in the quarter.
A six-point run on Sophia George’s two free throws, Brooke Sinner’s layin and Taylor Yancey’s putback had the Bruins within 40-46 late in the third and Ashley Beck’s baseline jumper kept it a six-point game as the fourth got underway.
Fatigue set in for both teams and Christian Brothers pushed its lead to 12 in the final eight minutes as Ponderosa tried to catch the Falcons in vain.
Offensively, the Bruins were led by Beck with 16 points and George with 14. Sinner scored eight points, Jennifer Curto had six and Jensen Lewis tallied five.
Behind tough half-court defense, the boys game was tied 27-all at the halftime break after Ponderosa point guard Justin Obereiner drained a three from the wing at the buzzer. Another trey by Bruin Josh Hufford knotted the score at 33-33 but Christian Brothers scored the next five points — three on Mitesh Patel’s second three of the quarter — and never trailed again.
The Falcons led 42-38 after three quarters and Patel’s pull-up jumper opened the fourth. A 9-3 spurt pushed Christian Brothers up a dozen before Ponderosa made its move.
Curtis Opsahl’s putback and five consecutive points from Trevor Hammitt had the Bruins within 53-48 with 1:18 left. Patel hit both ends of a one-and-one but Ponderosa answered on Hammitt’s inside feed to Tyler Miles with 18 seconds to go.
The Falcons missed two free throws while Bruin Jacob Bist made one to trim it to 51-55 but time ran out on Ponderosa.
Hammitt led the Bruins with 14 points while Opsahl added 13. Patel’s 16 points led Christian Brothers.
The Ponderosa boys return to the home court Thursday against Sonoma Valley to open the Gold Dust Tournament. The Bruins girls were back in action last night at El Dorado and compete in the weekend varsity tournament at Christian Brothers.