ERIE — As an athlete who hit two home runs in a softball state-tournament game in the fall, Amanda Ochoa has a flair for the dramatic.
With the Erie girls basketball team entrenched in a game notable only for its sluggishness Thursday night, Ochoa once again unveiled that quality.
She drilled two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, including the go-ahead shot with 34 seconds to play as Erie upended Berthoud 30-27 in the 4A Tri-Valley League opener.
“I just thought I had to pick it up,” Ochoa said. “I looked at the score and realized that I need to do this for our team.”
Ochoa had the Tigers’ only field goals in the final quarter, both 3s from the top of the key, and both provided Erie (5-2, 1-0) with a lead. Her first made it 24-23 just before the midway point of the period.
Then Erie went scoreless until her late heroics made it 27-25, and teammate Serena Gudino sealed the win by making 3 of 4 free throws in the final seconds.
“She hadn’t made many until right there at the end,” Berthoud coach Randy Earl said. “Some of the first shots she made from the outside were in the final minutes.”
In fairness to Ochoa, hardly anyone on either squad was making many shots in a game in which the final score looked more like a halftime score.
Statistics detailing how common it is to win a game when scoring only 30 points or when failing to record a double-digit quarter weren’t readily available, but the percentages figure to be lower than Piper Zeier’s game-best rebounding total (she pulled down nine).
“We had a few mental mistakes and Berthoud kind of matched our mental mistakes,” Erie coach Noel Potter said. “It was just a matter of who was going to play the smartest, and we played a little smarter.”
Potter indicated that he admired Berthoud’s scrambling style. This was just a matter of neither team being able to produce consistent offense.
Ochoa finished with 11 points, including three when she was on the court all by her lonesome. She attempted a half-court shot near the first-quarter horn and was fouled by Berthoud’s Samantha Kouns. With the court cleared, Ochoa nailed all three foul shots.
Kouns led Berthoud (3-5, 0-1) with 10 points, including an 8-for-12 performance at the foul line. Erie committed 20 fouls, with Lauren Bauchert fouling out.
Erie is finished until after the holiday break, but now the Tigers — and Ochoa in particular — can enter the hiatus with a positive vibe.
“I felt a really good energy after I hit that 3,” Ochoa said. “I think any 3 is good, but that one at the end just finalized our win for the night.”
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Erie 30, Berthoud 27
At Erie HS
BERTHOUD (3-5, 0-1)
S. Kouns 1 8-12 10, Baker 1 0-0 2, L. Loberg 1 0-0 2, Haggas 2 2-2 6, Karlin 1 0-0 2, Cavey 0 2-2 2, M. Loberg 0 0-1 0, Armitage 1 1-6 3. Totals 7 13-23-27.
ERIE (5-2, 1-0)
Bauchert 1 0-0 2, Ochoa 3 3-3 11, Kudrna 0 0-0 0, Gudino 2 3-6 8, Zeier 2 0-0 4, Gallagher 2 0-2 4, Purcell 0 0-0 0, Ramey 0 1-2 1, Campbell 0 0-0 0. Totals 10 7-13 30.
Score by quarters:
Berthoud 3 11 7 6 — 27
Erie 9 4 8 9 — 30
3-point field goals — Berthoud (0); Erie (3): Ochoa 2, Gudino. Total fouls — Berthoud 12, Erie 20. Fouled out — Bauchert. Technical fouls — None.