The Folsom Middle School eighth-grade girls’ basketball team got the best kind of revenge a team can get.
After losing twice to Marina Middle School during the regular season, the Jaguars finally got the win in the biggest game of the season, defeating Marina, 40-39, in the Foothill Athletic League championship game played Feb. 21. The losses, while painful, provided the fuel for the team’s drive toward a league title.
“The first time we played them we lost by 10 points at their place, but the second time we lost was even worse because we were up by five points late and lost by two at our place,” Folsom coach Vince Isbell said. “That loss opened their eyes, though. The girls knew that they could beat them and really wanted to win the first championship since 2008.”
In the championship game, the Jaguars held a three-point lead late in the game thanks to a couple of late free throws. Marina attempted a three-pointer late and missed, but got the rebound and scored to make it a one-point game, but time ran out.
“The biggest key to the win was our defense,” Isbell said. “Emily Anderson played great defense on their leading scorer. She had been averaging something like 18 points and Emily held her to two. We played great defense as a team and eliminated mistakes. I had a feeling we were going to beat them. The girls really had grown as players during the season and they played great.”
Isbell benefited from an experienced team, as eight of the 11 players played on the team last season.
“The strength our team was leadership and teamwork,” Isbell said. “It was never about me with these girls, but always about the team. They all contributed in different ways.”
Members of the team include Paige Andersen, Emily Anderson, Cassidy Merlo, Hannah Trengove, Jordan Conneely, Katelin Godwin, Haley Cruz, Siena Miller, Mikayla Totushek, Sam Selenis and Sydney Larocca.