The Strathmore Spartans have managed to collect a number of victories as they march closer to the playoffs. After defeating both the Granite Hill Grizzlies and the Lindsay Cardinals last week, they are on a three-game winning streak and are now 4-1 in league.
The two rivals faced each other for the first time this season on Friday, Jan. 29 in Strathmore. Coming off of a hot streak, the Cardinals were looking to continue their winning ways.
On Wednesday, Jan. 27, the Spartans traveled to Porterville to take on the Granite Hills Grizzlies basketball team. Ultimately, the Spartans toppled the Grizzlies, 60-42. The top shooters of Wednesday’s league battle were Strathmore juniors Mariah Hernandez and Valeria Romero. Both managing to secure 15 points each for their team.
After defeating Granite Hills, the Spartans possessed a 13-10 record for the season and stood at 3-1 in league. They put it on the line as they hosted their rival the Lindsay Cardinals for an East Sequoia battle. The Cardinals entered the bout coming off a 49-35 league win over Corcoran, with an improved record of 7-11.
It was the Cardinals who put points on the board first as Lindsay’s Maddie Caesar completed a swift layup. However, Strathmore was quick to answer back with a layup of their own. The Spartans extended their lead over Lindsay as Romero rebounded a Hernandez attempt.
The Cardinals struggled to tighten the Spartans’ lead, but their only opportunity to score throughout the first period was through free throw attempts. After three back-to-back fouls were called on the Spartans, the Cardinals were unable to capitalize on the free throws leaving the score 5-18 at the end of the first.
The second period played out much like the first as the Spartans dominated their opponent. The Cardinals only managed to put five more points on the board, where as the Spartans went on to extend their lead 30-10.
The second half of play began with the Spartans continuing their assault on the Cardinals, as Strathmore’s Kathy Rodriguez cleared the net furthering the lead 32-10. She went on to secure another point for her team after a foul call. After Rodriguez missed her first attempt, Strathmore head coach Richard Miranda shouted from the side lines, “Reach for the cookie in the jar!” With guidance from her coach, Rodriguez sunk her second attempt.
It wasn’t until Lindsay’s head coach Frankie Arguelles called a time out with four minutes remaining in the third that the Cardinals were able to score. After a foul was called against Lindsay’s Marlene Gutierrez, the sophomore managed to secure one of two free throw attempts.
The Cardinals attempted to come back in the fourth scoring 10 points throughout the period. Despite their late game momentum the Spartans lead was too great for the Cardinals to overcome. As the buzzer indicated the end to the battle, the score stood at 56-28, Strathmore.
Up next the Spartans traveled to Woodlake on Tuesday, Feb. 2 to take on the Tigers, who were looking to improve their 0-4 league record. The Cardinals were at home on Tuesday, Feb. 2, as they host ed a tough Sierra Pacific team.
Sierra Pacific is currently 16-4 in the season and remains undefeated in league.