Memorable playoff run ends for Ferndale girls in NorCal semis

Photos by Ray Hamill/ – Reaghan Langer in action for the Wildcats on Saturday night.

By Ray Hamill — All things considered it was a playoff run the Ferndale girls have reason to be proud of.

But it came to an end on Saturday night, when the Wildcats lost 38-26 to Weed at Ferndale in the CIF NorCal Division-6 semifinals.

The shorthanded Cats, who had just seven players for the postseason, continued to play well defensively in the loss, but they could not find their rhythm offensively.

“They hit a couple of big shots and we couldn’t hit any shots,” head coach Jamie Ellsmore said. “Defensively I thought we played well, but offensively we couldn’t score and our offense was a little stagnant at times.”

The visitors got the better of the early exchanges, opening up a 9-1 lead just a few minutes, and they never trailed after that.

They led by as many as 10 with two minutes remaining in the first half, but the Ferndale girls would battle back, pulling to within two points early in the third quarter after back-to-back Reaghan Langer baskets.

The Wildcats had their opportunities to tie the game or take the lead thanks to several defensive stops, but the offense disappeared after that and they were held to just one point over the following 10 and a half minutes.

After that, there was no way back, although the Ferndale players continued to battle right down to the final buzzer.

“We said keep going and they never gave up,” Ellsmore said. “They played hard the whole game.”

Carly Carmesin epitomized the team’s fight and hustle all game and finished with 13 points, while Langer added 10.

“I thought Carly played really well,” Ellsmore said. “You could tell she really wanted it.

“Emily (Chavez) didn’t score, but she played with her normal leadership out there.”

Langer also epitomized the team fight and turned in another strong performance despite playing with an injury.

“Reaghan is one of the top athletes in the county,” the head coach said. “She’s been hurt the last few weeks but she’s still out there and still giving 100 percent. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

The Ferndale defense did a good job containing Weed standout center Renaissance Johnson, who came into the game averaging a team-high 12.5 points a game and finished with seven.

The Cats were the last remaining H-DN team still playing this season and they reached the NorCal semifinals despite losing their head coach (Terra Albee) and three players, who stepped away from the team for personal reasons at the outset of the playoffs.

Ellsmore took over the team for the postseason.

The Cats closed out a memorable season with a record of 21-9.

The Weed girls, who improved to 22-11, will play No. 1 seed Cornerstone Christian in next week’s NorCal championship game.

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