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

SRJC Women’s basketball wins big over Modesto Junior College on “sophomore night”

Meredith Gilbertson is greeted with a custom frame and bouquets of flowers during Sophomore Night at Santa Rosa’s Haehl Pavilion Feb. 20, 2024. (Yna Bollock)

Hot shooting from Santa Rosa Junior College sophomore guard Lucca Lowenberg coupled with a cohesive team defense and high pace helped the Bear Cubs pull away from the Modesto Junior College Pirates in the second half of Tuesday night’s game to win 71-53 at the Haehl Pavilion.

Lowenberg shot 5-7 from the 3-point line and finished the game with a team-high 24 points. In what was her last regular season home game of her SRJC basketball career, she put on a shooting clinic. 

Meredith Gilbertson reaches for the ball during tip off against Modesto at Santa Rosa’s Haehl Pavilion Feb. 20, 2024. (Yna Bollock)

Halfway through the second quarter, it appeared that Lowenberg tweaked her ankle and had to go to the bench to work with the athletic trainers. She was able to return with less than 2 minutes in the half.

In her short absence, Bear Cubs freshman guard Reese Searcy stepped up and pushed the pace every chance she had. Off rebounds, turnovers and made shots, Searcy brought the ball up the court quickly before the Modesto defense was able to get set. This led to many easy opportunities at the basket for her and her teammates. Searcy finished the game with 14 points, six rebounds and seven assists.

“We felt like all year we can push the ball and we can create some extra opportunities in transition…” said SRJC Head Coach Lacey Campbell. “…[I]t’s not great yet but we’re getting there.”

Despite the lopsided final score, it wasn’t a comfortable win from start to finish for the Bear Cubs. In the first half, Modesto sophomore guard Mary Cotton scored 16 of her team’s 31 points and was impactful on both ends of the court. Her length bothered SRJC at the rim and her high-level ball handling and shooting proved to be hard to stop for the Bear Cubs.

Coach Campbell made sure Cotton saw lots of pressure in the second half. “I thought Maycee, Reese and Meredith did a great job of trying to put pressure on [Cotton], there wasn’t a single person that didn’t step up.” Campbell also mentioned switching matchups around so Modesto’s star couldn’t get too comfortable.

That added focus in the second half on team defense allowed the Bear Cubs to stretch their halftime lead of eight to as high as 21 in the fourth quarter. This cushion gave Campbell the ability to empty the bench and play the team’s sophomores for the last four-plus minutes of their final home game at SRJC. 

“It’s important for us because we have so many players and some don’t get very many minutes,” said Campbell. “It meant a lot for them to get a chance to play against a quality opponent so they aren’t only doing it in practice.”


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About the Contributors
Cameron Romanik
Cameron Romanik, Sports Editor
Cameron Romanik (he/him) is in his third semester at SRJC and his second at The Oak Leaf. He's very knowledgeable about sports, and loves to share his opinions and insight. He also is often focused on music and film, and stays up to date with what's popular and successful in those fields.
Yna Bollock
Yna Bollock, Reporter
Yna Bollock is in her first semester with the Oak Leaf. She has been working on prerequisites for the last two semesters and is elated to begin major specific requirements for the journalism program, specifically photojournalism. Prior to pursuing a photojournalism degree, she graduated from SRJC’s culinary program in 2013. In 2020, following a layoff from the hospitality industry, Yna graduated from the CNA program in June in an effort to stay gainfully employed throughout the pandemic. Now in 2024, she is on track to graduate with a bachelor’s of arts in photojournalism.

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