The Lady ’Jackets didn’t bring their A game on Wednesday night. Luckily, they didn’t need it.
With star forward Robin Roberson slowed with a hyperextended elbow, the Berkeley squad looked a little out of sorts, but they overwhelmed the Aptos Mariners just the same, 73-47. The win puts the Lady ’Jackets into the CIF Northern Section semifinals against Kennedy (Sacramento) on Friday night.
Roberson, who injured her left elbow at Tuesday’s practice, played Wednesday’s game with her elbow taped up, and she looked to be tentative for most of the game. Nevertheless, the senior scored a game-high 26 points to go with six rebounds, three steals and three blocks.
“I don’t know what the injury was, but it hurt her shooting,” Berkeley head coach Gene Nakamura said. “I don’t think she should have had it wrapped without practicing with it.”
Roberson said that despite her impressive numbers (including 11-for-20 from the floor), the injury made her tentative.
“I wasn’t aggressive enough,” she said. “I was passing too much when I had open shots.”
Roberson got help from her post players, Sabrina Keys and Gelater Fullwood. Keys had 14 points, seven boards and three blocks, while Fullwood pitched in 12 points, six rebounds and two steals.
Aptos came out with a full-court press, and they took a quick 4-0 lead. But after that, it was all Berkeley. Roberson hit a jumper, then guard Angelita Hutton converted a steal into an easy layup. Fullwood hit a short jumper to give her team the lead, which they would keep for the rest of the game. Roberson scored 10 points in the quarter, leading the ’Jackets to a 22-13 lead after one.
It only got worse in the second quarter, as the Mariners went five and a half minutes without a bucket, by which time the lead was up to 33-14. Berkeley went into the locker room with a 40-18 lead, and the only question was the margin of victory.
Aptos was yet another opponent that had no answer for Berkeley’s depth and defensive pressure, as coach Joseph Smith played only seven players for much of the game. Smith’s team committed 24 turnovers in the game and were clearly exhausted by the end.
“That’s the power of our team, our depth,” Nakamura said. “Hopefully we’re in their faces the whole game.”
Just four Mariners scored in the game, led by Briana Hinga’s 20, while Jena Wat and Crystal Washington scored 11 each. Washington also pulled down 13 rebounds.
Despite the lopsided win, Nakamura said he wasn’t happy with his team’s performance.
“We wanted to make more of a statement in this game,” he said. “We should have had a layup drill against them.”