East County Sports

Patriots’ journey ends despite rally

2021 EAST COUNTY PREP GIRLS BASKETBALL

EL CAMINO 63, CHRISTIAN 60

 

EastCountySports.com staff report

 

ESCONDIDO – The Christian Patriots were able to overcome the hot start of the El Camino Wildcats on Saturday night in a San Diego Section CIF Division I quarterfinal but the fourth-seeded hosts were able to summon a rally of their own in the final minutes to escape with a 63-60 victory.

The Wildcats nearly doubled up Christian in the opening eight minutes, taking a 27-14 lead after one quarter.

However, the Patriots managed a big-time comeback to take the lead, 45-43, after three quarters.

El Camino took a 52-51 lead in the fourth.

Kristin Williams had 16 points for the Patriots, including three three-point field goals, while also making five steals.

The game marked the end of the record-setting prep career for Williams, one of the program’s best players ever.

“I think we played hard but at the end of the day some stuff just doesn’t happen,” Williams said. “It was a great run with these girls and we came back and fought. I have no regrets this season and it was a privilege to play for this team. I’m proud to wear that jersey.”

Serene Weckback had 10 points and nine rebounds for Christian High.

“I’m extremely sad it’s over,” Weckback said. “I truly believe all of my teammates gave it their all last night on the court and I’m extremely proud of everyone. Even though I did end up fouling out, I know I played my hardest.”

Koko Akridge, a sophomore, had nine points and four assists for the Patriots.

“We fought hard this game and just fell short,” Akridge said. “A lot of our shots just didn’t want to fall. Of course, there are things we could have changed for a different outcome but I think we still played great. We had a great season together.”

Jaya Little had four points and eight rebounds for CHS in her final game for Christian High (11-9).

“I’m so proud of how far we’ve come as a team,” Little said. “The year started out rough but as it continued, the chemistry and skill continued to grow and it’s just so great to be a part of that. As far as my progression, it’s pretty cool to watch the film from the beginning of the season to now and just be able to say that I’m a completely different player now. Yes, the Lady Pats are losing Kristin, Serene, and I but the caliber of talent that is on this team is endless. I honestly can’t wait to see them in action next year.”

Junior Tiffany Bickford made a three-pointer in the first half for the Pats.

“It was a very tough game for me,” Bickford said. “I played club with most of the girls on El Camino last year so they know how I play. I was having a tough time because they were closely guarding me. I was getting to the basket but I just couldn’t finish. I think we could’ve and should’ve won this game but we just couldn’t finish all the time and gave up easy shots.

Bickford is part of a big group of returning players, as the Patriots lose just the three seniors.

“This season I have come very far and have become a much different player and I couldn’t be more grateful for all of my experiences and being coached by coach Vickie (Carrington),” Bickford said. “I’m so grateful for our seniors who have become my best friends and always supporting me. Also to my whole team for building each other up on and off the court. We have grown so much this season and overcome so much adversity that it’s crazy to see all the progress we made.

“I wish we could’ve won to help the seniors leave a legacy but we just came up short. I’m excited about next season and I know we’re going to be working very hard all summer.”

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