By Tom Price Jr.
The game and the season was on the line Friday for the Lindsay Cardinals girls basketball team in Woodlake. And they responded with a second half drubbing of the Woodlake Tigers that lead to a 43-35 win.
Trailing 19-14 the Cardinals had been pounded in the post the entire first half. The Woodlake Tigers routinely got second and third chances at baskets while the Cardinals offense, along with leading scorer Nikki Salinas, struggled to find the basket.
"They were really beating us with rebounds and our goal was to get more in the second half," Cardinal center Nichole Schiro said. "We played incredibly tough defense and started rebounding in the second half."
The team's rebound from the sluggish first half was largely due to Schiro who scored five points in the third quarter and was able to grab timely rebounds and loose balls before exiting the game with an injured hand.
"I scored seven points," Schiro said. "I don't think I have scored seven points since my eighth grade year. I am not a scorer on this team I am here for defense."
In that crucial third quarter in which the Cardinals outscored the Tigers 12-6, they began denying the pass into the post. Guards Russie Saunders and Raquel Chairez denied passing lanes. And when Woodlake did attempt a pass it was intercepted and turned into a fast break for the Cardinals.
"That was a sweet win for us," Lindsay coach Pete Lindstrand said. "It gives us a lot of confidence, we made some adjustments and they worked."
The win keeps the Cardinals in contention for a home game in the Division IV playoffs. If they get that game Lindstrand said it would be a monumental accomplishment.
"When I step back and look at it, we are a young team and they have exceeded my expectations this season," Lindstrand said. "Going to this playoffs this year is just icing on the cake for this team."