HANFORD - After a third quarter rally, the Vikings fell behind 15 points in the fourth before losing in a 51-41 final at Sierra Pacific High School on Jan. 3.
In the nonleague contest, Kingsburg (12-5, 2-0 in Central Sequoia League) had several miscues against the reigning state champion Golden Bears.
Vikings head coach Kristi Bravo said her team pulled off a great effort, but those mistakes were costly.
“We just came out fumbling the ball a little bit,” Bravo said. “I think that’s just nerves.”
In the first quarter, Kingsburg was held to single digits by Sierra Pacific with the score 14-6 in the Golden Bears favor at the end of the opening quarter.
At halftime, the Golden Bears extended its lead to 27-17.
Kingsburg never had a lead throughout the game, but came within two points with a 29-27 deficit in the third quarter.
The Vikings came out halftime with a 10-2 run to make the score a two-point game.
After a timeout called by Sierra Pacific, the Golden Bears began a rally of its own, closing the quarter with a 9-4 run to end the third with a 38-31 lead.
Late in the fourth quarter, the Golden Bears began to pull away from the Vikings with a 15-point 50-38 lead. That 15-point lead would be the largest of the game.
“If we would’ve played our game, then we would’ve had that,” Bravo said. “We kind of just started out slow and because of their [state] title I think the girls were a little intimidated until they started to realize ‘Hey we could play with them.’”
If the Vikings meet Sierra Pacific in the Division IV playoffs, Bravo said her team showed that they could compete against the Golden Bears if a postseason matchup occurs.
“That’s a good benchmark to compare ourselves to,” Bravo said. “We played right there with them. We just got a little lost on defense, but I’m confident that the girls can play with them, give us another night.”
For the third-straight game, Maddy Reed lead Kingsburg in scoring with 19 points, but she fell one point short of her third consecutive 20-point game. The UC Merced-bound player also reached 1,000 career points in the loss.
Maddie Alves was the only other Viking to score in double-digits figures at 10.
It was the final nonleague game of the season for Kingsburg, who continued CSL play at home against Dinuba on Tuesday (after press time).
The Vikings will play on the road against Central Valley Christian in CSL play on Thursday and the girls will be back on its homecourt against Exeter on Monday.