HANFORD – Sue Mahackian rose slowly off the Edison High bench, stood and looked at the west scoreboard at the Hanford gym: "HOME 45, GUEST 20."
It was only halftime of the Central Section Division I girls semifinal Tuesday night and the coach's team – a 23-4 group that went 10-0 in the County/Metro Athletic Conference – had committed 30 turnovers.
The person who was on the opposite end of such beatings so often as a four-year point guard for Memorial teams that went 100-7 in the late '70s then glanced at her assistants.
She tapped her clipboard on her right hip and walked to the locker room to appeal for the virtual impossible from a Bullpups' opponent in the section: "Calm down."
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The fifth-seeded Tigers would finish with 45 turnovers in a 74-38 loss that qualified No. 1 Hanford for a sixth consecutive trip to Selland Arena.
The Bullpups, who won a D-III title in 2008, D-II crowns in '09 and '10 and are 74-0 against section competition in four years, will face No. 7 Clovis East (21-8) in the D-I championship at 6 p.m. Saturday.
The Timberwolves can expect unforgiving full-court pressure that first broke down fellow Tri-River Athletic Conference member Buchanan 85-36 in the quarters and then Edison again Tuesday before a near-capacity crowd in the Bullpups' gym.
Both games finished with a running clock – a CIF mandate when a lead reaches 40 in the fourth quarter.
"It's hard to prepare your team, to pass it on, what they're going to face," Mahackian said. "Just walking on the court, Hanford has an aura about them, an aura of confidence that you can't teach."
Sophomore Bayli McClard and Madison Parrish scored 17 and 13 points for the Bullpups.
They scored 40 points off turnovers with a team whose every player thinks steal against every pass for 32 minutes.
Edison's Keyora Wharry, the CMAC's premier player, scored seven points – 13 fewer than her average.
"It's mostly about hard work, honestly," said Parrish, whose eight assists increased her state career-record total to 873.