Preps

Tuesday, Dec 28 2010 09:11 PM

Ridgeview prevails despite heavy pressure on McCall

  1. 1 of 6

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Stockdale High's # 34 Asia Cooks, right, reaches in to steal as Golden Valley's #24 Nitoyra bone tries to keep control of the ball in their Tuesday afternoon game.

    click to expand click to collapse
  2. 2 of 6

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Independence High's # 5 Jade Gridiron defends as Ridgeview High's #23 Nichole Martin dribbles past her in their Tuesday afternoon game.

    click to expand click to collapse
  3. 3 of 6

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Stockdale High's #5 Jazmin Miller drives to the basket as Golden Valley's #10 Jamara Scott defends in their afternoon game Tuesday.

    click to expand click to collapse
  4. 4 of 6

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Stockdale High's # 34 Asia Cooks, right, reaches in to steal as Golden Valley's #24 Nitoyra bone tries to keep control of the ball in their Tuesday afternoon game.

    click to expand click to collapse
  5. 5 of 6

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Independence High's #5 Jade Gridiron, right, takes control of the ball as Ridgeview High's #3 Reyanna Moura defends in their Tuesday afternoon game.

    click to expand click to collapse
  6. 6 of 6

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Independence High's # 5 Jade Gridiron defends as Ridgeview High's #23 Nichole Martin dribbles past her in their Tuesday afternoon game.

    click to expand click to collapse
BY JEFF GOODMAN, Californian staff writer jgoodman@bakersfield.com

Defenses have heard about Erica McCall.

The 6-foot-3 power forward averaged 17.8 points and 14.2 rebounds per game last season, leading Ridgeview to its first Division III Central Section championship -- as a freshman.

In her sophomore campaign, which continued Tuesday at the Lady Mustang Shootout, McCall has seen frequent double teams and swarming zones. In fact, she was held to a season-low 13 points in a 47-39 victory against Independence at Stockdale High.

"It's very frustrating -- you want to get touches, but they know what they have to do to stop me," she said.

But McCall has adjusted to the added attention, finding ways to help the Wolf Pack win even when the basket seems elusive.

In the third quarter, she blocked a floater in the lane and snagged an offensive rebound on the next possession. She swatted another shot with 30 seconds left in the game and Ridgeview (7-4) leading by just six points.

"She makes my whole team better," Wolf Pack coach Michael Martin said. "They probably played her better than anybody else so far this season, but she can do it all for us."

A representative from Duke visited Bakersfield last week to watch McCall, who is scoring about 20 points while grabbing 15 rebounds and blocking 9.8 shots per contest. Her goal is to average a triple-double this season.

"I didn't think I was up to that level," McCall said of the Blue Devils' interest. "But I was excited."

McCall said she's been working on her ballhandling skills and added that she feels calmer on the court than she did a year ago.

She's also learned to put more trust in her teammates, who filled in nicely against the Falcons. Six other players had at least four points, some of their buckets coming on assists from McCall.

"The success in front of her is unlimited," Martin said.

McCall will probably be a magnet for defenses again today, when the Wolf Pack play two games in the championship bracket of the three-day, 14-team tournament.

But host Stockdale, the six-time defending champion, is also in the hunt for the title.

The Mustangs (8-7), who will battle Centennial today, put their full-court pressure to use in Tuesday's 64-49 win over Golden Valley.

They stole several passes in the backcourt and got their hands on plenty more, hardly allowing the Bulldogs to find an offensive rhythm.

Meanwhile, Stockdale didn't have much trouble scoring.

Senior guard Emilee Parks punished a sagging Golden Valley defense by draining six three-pointers, while sophomore Jazmin Miller added 16 points for the Mustangs.

Senior forward Charde Stevens scored 20 points for the Bulldogs, who had defeated San Mateo-Aragon 45-36 during pool play Tuesday morning.

Following her team's victory, McCall studied Stockdale's suffocating defense from the sidelines. It's an obstacle she might face today -- and one that could help Ridgeview in the long run.

"We want to go past Valley," she said.

Have something to share? Comment on this story

Bakersfield.com Daily Deal!

Bakersfield Blaze

Daily Deal

Half off a 4 Pack of Blaze Tickets with 4 hot dogs and 4 sodas

Value
$60
% Off
50%
You Save
$30
22 Bought
Buy Now! See more deals
What do you think?