A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

An additional four to six-week delay faces students who have already submitted their FAFSA for 2024-2025 academic year.
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Amy Moore, Reporter • February 14, 2024

SRJC Women’s Basketball pick up motivating win against Diablo Valley

SRJC guard/ forward Ivy Gonzalez pulls up for a shot from mid range in a postseason game against Diablo Valley College at Santa Rosa’s Haehl Pavilion Jan. 23, 2024. (Sam Guzman)

The Bear Cubs Women’s basketball team picked up a big win to finish off the first round of the postseason at home against the Diablo Valley College Vikings Jan. 23, but may have lost a vital starter in the process.

The stakes were raised ahead of the matchup as both teams shared a 13-7 record this season This game was also the final game of the first round of the postseason, so a victory here means taking a win streak into the second round.

SRJC Forward Meredith Gilbertson attempts the putback layup after grabbing an offensive rebound in a postseason game against Diablo Valley College at Santa Rosa’s Haehl Pavilion Jan. 23, 2024. (Sam Guzman)

Starters for Santa Rosa Junior College included a backcourt of guards Reese Searcy and Lucca Lowenberg, with the frontcourt consisting of Maycee Hunter, Meredith Gilbertson and Ivy Gonzalez.

The matchup saw Santa Rosa dominating the opening and closing of the game, putting up impressive first and fourth quarters. The Bear Cubs never gave up the lead the entire game. Diablo Valley’s best moments primarily came from just before and after halftime in the second and third quarters, when they brought the game as close as 8 points apart before Santa Rosa was able to pull away in the final quarter. 

Near the end of the first quarter, both teams found themselves stuck in a 8-5 scoreline, with the Bear Cubs and Vikings unable to score due to both teams putting up solid defensive shifts. Particularly noteworthy on the defensive end was SRJC guard Reece Searcy, who deflected multiple passes and picked up a decent bit of assists and rebounds for her team.

The Bear Cubs were shaken up going into halftime despite holding a 38-27 lead, with Diablo Valley making a comeback seeming more and more likely around the third quarter when Santa Rosa wasn’t playing like it did at the start of the game.

With the score at 56-47 going into the fourth, Lowenberg clutched up when teammate Ivy Gonzalez began being double-teamed on defense, scoring multiple 3-point shots and drawing fouls to get to the line and keep Santa Rosa’s lead growing.

Near the end of the game, Gilbertson appeared to sustain an injury upon taking a charge from Diablo Valley’s Skyler Parker. It was a big blow for the Bear Cubs given she had led the team in assists and picked up the second most rebounds. She was able to return to the bench but not able to check back into the game. 

SRJC Guard/Forward Ivy Gonzalez attempts a contested inside layup in a postseason game against Diablo Valley College at Santa Rosa’s Haehl Pavilion Jan. 23, 2024. (Sam Guzman)

Diablo Valley played with a noteworthy intensity, committing three more fouls despite having a smaller roster. But even then, in the closing minutes, Diablo Valley’s team realized the gap was too large to overcome and lowered their work rate for the remainder of the game, giving a final score of 76-63.

The Oak Leaf player of the game has got to go to SRJC top scorer Gonzalez, who finished the game with the most points and rebounds on the day. Other exceptional Santa Rosa players include guards Lowenberg and Hunter, who finished with 20 and 13 points respectively. 

The game itself was overall competitive, but the matchup to watch was Santa Rosa’s Gonzalez, who had 24 points and led her team in rebounds against Diablo Valley’s Forward, Skyler Parker, the only one to outscore Gonzalez with 25 points and the most rebounds on her team as well. 

“I think ever since (the game against) Modesto, we’re on the uphill. I think it [the victory] is good for our morale. We’re just coming together as a team and finding our Groove,”  Gonzalez said after the game. “I was just taking it one step at a time. If I catch the ball and someone’s on my left, I’m gonna go right. I’m just not overthinking as much and playing simple.” 

SRJC Guard Lucca Lowenberg talked about the team’s chemistry after the game. “I think the win brings us together as a team,” she said. “I think that’s something we struggled with early. Everyone contributing, everyone playing, everyone getting on the floor. I think it’s just good for bringing us together.”

One of the unsung heroes on the day was starting point guard Searcy, who picked up 5 points, multiple rebounds and assists and deflected passes into steals. “I think being a [point guard], I try to facilitate and put people up and find everyone and get them going, and I also have an emphasis on defense because defense wins games. I get pretty fired up on defense, getting stops and getting rebounds so I try and just rub that off on my teammates.” 

SRJC head coach Lacey Campbell talked about what the win means for the team going forward. “It’s the final game of the first round so we head into the second round with good momentum with a good win,” she said. “They’re [Diablo Valley] a good team and they are pretty tough and I think this win gives our team that confidence that we can compete against that style of play.”

This result gives the Bear Cubs a two-game win streak and some much-needed momentum going into the second round of the postseason, with their next matchup coming away from home against the Folsom Lake College Falcons on Friday, Jan. 26.

Santa Rosa head coach Lacey Campbell speaks to her players right before the fourth quarter of the postseason game against Diablo Valley College at Santa Rosa’s Haehl Pavilion Jan. 23, 2024. (Sam Guzman)
About the Contributors
Jonathan Cangson, Reporter
Jonathan Cangson (he/him) is in his fourth semester of The Oak Leaf as a reporter and editor focused primarily on sports coverage and social media coverage. He hopes to graduate soon with his associates in Journalism. He also hopes to become a broadcast journalist and commentate for a company like ESPN or Sky Sports. He likes to play with his dogs, hang out with friends, and watch Arsenal FC and the Golden State Warriors.
Sam Guzman, Editor
Sam Guzman is in his 2nd semester at the Oak Leaf, and is currently working towards transferring to San Francisco State to major in journalism next Fall.