With sweep of Seawolves, both men and women bring playoff basketball to Acker Gym in Chico


Whitney Branham, McKena Barker, Jo Paine and Shay Stark huddle up in a matchup against UC San Diego Photo credit: Kate Angeles

The Sonoma State Seawolves were no match for our Wildcats this weekend with losses of 75-68 against the women and 65-62 against the men.

Seniors Whitney Branham and Kayla Taylor were putting work in on the court and points up on the board. Branham ended the game with 18 points while Taylor ended her final regular season game with 16.

“At this point it’s whatever it takes to just stay alive and get to the next round,” said Branham. “We really want to win the conference tournament and go onto regionals!”

Junior McKena Barker and Sophomore Madison Wong weren’t far behind in points scored and look to be strong leaders for the future team after the seniors graduate.

Branham, Wong and Barker were all major players in the first half scoring points, making steals and getting rebounds, ending the first half 43-33 Chico.

Taylor and Branham, with the help of Freshman Shay Stark, solidified their spot in the post season playoffs throughout the second half and ended with a final score of 75-68 Wildcats.

Leading the entire time, these ‘Cats were playing to win.

“We feel very confident going into playoffs,” said Taylor. “We are a very molded team right now and I’m just so excited to see where we can go from here!”

The men started off shaky, but came out leading at the end of the first half 36-32 against the Seawolves. Seniors Corey Silverstrom and Isaiah Ellis came out strong scoring 16 of the 36 points of the half while also adding three steals.

The Wildcats struggled to keep the lead but sophomore Justin Briggs stepped up his scoring in the second half, while Silverstrom and his offense never slowed down. The ‘Cats set themselves up to compete in the first round of playoffs with a final score of 65-62.

The Wildcats women will begin play in the CCAA Tournament against Cal State LA at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in Chico, with the men to follow at 7:30 p.m.

Courtney Chapman can be reached at [email protected] or @courtneychaps on Twitter.