Given the suspension of athletics in the county, the Daily Journal decided to dive into our 20-year archives to bring readers some of our favorite stories over the years.
FEB. 18, 2016 — The Lady Sharks claimed their first victim in the Peninsula Athletic League girls’ basketball tournament.
Oceana prevailed in a wild turnover fest with a 45-44 victory over Carlmont in Wednesday’s PAL tourney opener. While the Sharks committed 12 turnovers, they came out on the better end as the Scots had over 20.
The Sharks set the tempo with their hyper-aggressive defense pressing throughout. But the Scots found creative outlets with just enough shooting to stay in the game, without ever really finding the comfort zone.
“We try to play 94 feet of defense to take them out of doing what they wanted to do,” Oceana head coach David Clark said.
Never leading by more than five points, Oceana was on top nearly the entire way, except for a few brief minutes near the start of the second half when 5-11 freshman Ashley Trierweiler sank a pair of free throws to give Carlmont a 19-18 lead.
Otherwise, the Sharks had the leverage on their side. After leading from wire to wire in the first half, they jumped back up with 4:26 remaining in the third quarter on short jumper by junior forward Kyana Wiley.
Wiley and sophomore guard Ariana Margate finished with nine each, while junior Sala Langi totaled a game-high 13. Langi was on fire early, scoring 11 points in the first half. But it could have easily been 20 points, or even more, as she had plenty of close-range shots rattle out from hurrying shots to evade Carlmont’s height advantage.
“I think I could have done better but I was scared they were going to bump into me, so I just threw it up a lot,” Langi said. “But I was still able to draw fouls and get some buckets.”
Height matchups are Oceana’s biggest concern going into the postseason. The co-PAL North champs were big fish in a small pond while playing in a league that features little in the way of imposing height. And with drawing Carlmont — just the No. 4 ranked team out of the PAL South — in the PAL tourney opener, the Sharks are already feeling the post pressure.
“A lot of times we have a size advantage in league,” Wiley said. “But in the playoffs it is kind of different.”
Oceana counters by trying to run teams to death. All of the Sharks’ four club players come from transition-oriented club teams. Margate, Angelyne Dayrit and Nandi Eskridge all play for the Pacifica-based club Game Time, while Langi plays at Paye’s Place.
A junior transfer from Mercy-Burlingame, Langi fits right in to the vision Clark had for the team entering into the year.
“She fits into this style of play,” Clark said. “This is the first year we’ve ever pressed and I had decided to do that before she transferred. So when she got here she fit perfectly into the system.”
From the start Wednesday, Langi showed she can stretch the length of the floor better than anyone in the game. As one of the Sharks’ tallest players, she still fits best at guard. And in the fourth quarter, she produced one of her prettiest passes after scrapping for a loose ball around midcourt and floating a pass into the paint for Margate, who scored on a layup to put Oceana up 38-33.
Perhaps the reason it was Langi’s night was because the Scots came out keying on Margate to neutralize Oceana’s most dangerous 3-point shooter. For the most part Carlmont succeeded. Margate only hit two 3s, but they both came at clutch times.
Margate’s first 3-pointer gave Oceana the lead back midway through the third quarter. Then in the fourth quarter, after Carlmont closed to within two, her other trey made it a two possession game.
The latter proved to be a crucial shot. Carlmont trailed by one at four different junctures of the fourth quarter, and closed it again after Margate’s 3-pointer, when Alexa Bayangos — who shared the game-high with 13 points — drilled a 3 to make it 43-42, but with just 15 seconds remaining in regulation.
Carlmont quickly fouled to put Eskridge at the line, and the senior team captain made both free throws lengthen the lead to 45-42. With the Scots having time for one last possession, they advanced the ball down and had an open look from beyond the arc. But inexplicably, the Carlmont guard passed to an open Lys Hayes in the post. Hayes tried to kick the ball back out, passing to an open Valeria Martinez. Unfortunately for the Scots, Martinez was several steps inside the 3-point line when she drilled a 2-point jumper at the buzzer.
With the win, Oceana advances to Friday’s PAL semifinal to face Hillsdale, as the Knights rolled past Half Moon Bay 53-36.