Down by 17 and with an outright County/Metro Athletic Conference title about to be blown away Thursday at Bullard High, Edison's Brittaney Allison came to a conclusion:
"I've got to get my team together and get them to play harder," the senior point guard said.
The intensity began on both ends of the floor with Allison, extended to teammates such as Brittany Sims and Deizja Harris and carried the fifth-ranked Tigers to an improbable 65-57 victory to close the regular season.
Sims, a 6-foot-1 senior center, had 20 points and 17 rebounds, and Allison 19 points as Edison (23-7, 10-0) made an emphatic statement entering Saturday's seedings for the Central Section Division I playoffs.
"I'm looking for nothing less than a 5 seed," Tigers coach Will Harris said. "If we get a 3 or a 4, I'll be happy."
Their strongest seeding competition is expected to come from two-year reigning D-I champ Hanford of the West Yosemite League, Clovis West and Clovis from the Tri-River Athletic Conference and Southwest Yosemite League champion Stockdale.
"I'm sure hoping for a high seed, to take us there and get to Selland Arena (for the finals) a lot easier," said Allison, a Buchanan transfer, who had 12 points to charge Edison's 31-10 run in the third quarter. "
The Tigers trailed 33-16 late in the first half as No. 6 Bullard (20-5, 8-2) took control behind freshman guard Aarion McDonald (27 points, seven steals), returning all-league forward Elbria Wooley (10 points, 10 rebounds) and the stabilizing presence of sophomore guard Landynn Munster.
But Munster would leave for good with a knee injury 50 seconds into the fourth quarter and Wooley fouled out a minute later, crippling the comeback hopes of a team with limited depth.
McDonald, a tiny left-hander repeatedly slicing through traffic with spectacular drives, still made a determined effort to bring her team back.
Her 3-pointer, a drive, and then a layup after her own steal, cut the deficit to 55-52 with 4 minutes to go.
But an Allison 3-pointer that arched into the rafters and a Marshay White jumper after her own rebound denied Bullard in the final minutes.
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