Goss leads women into hoop playoffs

Christopher W. Pisar

Sophomore Nikki Goss saved her best performance for her last game at Bakersfield College, scoring a career-high 38 points, including 13 of 18 from the free throw line, while guiding her team to a 91-87 overtime victory over College of the Canyons on Saturday night.
“I just had to dig deep and give it everything I had, and it all worked out in the end,” Goss said.
The Renegades’ win broke a second-place tie with Canyons as BC improved to 18-9 overall and 9-3 in the Western State Conference. It also solidified BC’s spot in the Southern California Regionals where No. 12 seed BC will face No. 5 Cypress on Feb. 26.
Coach Paula Dahl said “I’m thrilled, we’ve never swept Canyons!”
The Cougars had four players score in double figures, including sophomore Jessi Loring with 25 points, Allison Weier with 20 points, Erica Doyle with 17 points, and Janette Galindo with 16.
Canyons fell to 8-4 in the WSC and 16-11 overall, good enough for third place in the South Division and a No. 14 seed in Bracket III of the Southern California Regionals. They will face No. 3 seed Antelope Valley on Feb. 25.
BC was down 7-2 early in the game but stormed back to take a 39-36 halftime lead. The Renegades continued to lead most of the game until about the three-minute mark in the second half when the Cougars’ Doyle made the front end of a one-and-one to tie the score with less than three minutes left in the game.
Down two with 1:05 to go, Jessica Loring made the first of two free throws to cut BC’s lead back to one but was unable to do so. The Renegades made a two-point field goal with 4.5 seconds remaining to push the lead to three.
Canyons quickly pushed the ball up the court, and Loring threw up a desperation 3-pointer, which she banked in to tie the score 81-81 to send it into overtime.
With the score tied 87-87 in overtime, Goss made a move toward the basket and was fouled with 8.7 seconds remaining. She made both free throws and then stole the Cougars’ inbound pass. She was fouled and made both free throws to clinch the victory.
“We’re playing well right now,” said Dahl. “We just need to keep it going and play like we have been to be successful (in the playoffs).”