As the Live Oak High girls basketball team gathered in the locker room after a 46-36 loss to Aptos in the Central Coast Section Division III semifinals on Feb. 27, Acorns guard Adrianne Gomez said you could hear a pin drop. As one could imagine, the players were emotional having just experienced the end to their season.
“Everyone was so heartbroken and shocked that it was all over,” Gomez said. “It was pretty rough, and we just hugged each other.”
Live Oak played with plenty of emotion and passion, but it just ran up against a superior team in Aptos, which went on to win the championship. However, the loss only enhanced the strong season the Acorns put together, as they finished 22-4, including going a perfect 10-0 to win the Blossom Valley League’s Santa Teresa East Division championship.
Live Oak trailed Aptos by four points entering the fourth quarter only to see the Mariners pull away with a 17-11 surge in the final eight minutes. Live Oak whipped Burlingame 60-40 in the quarterfinals to set up the showdown with Aptos.
“We gave everything we had, but we fell short unfortunately,” Gomez said.
Acorns coach Mike Kiefer had plenty to be proud of, including the players’ effort and consistent, game-by-game performance. It speaks volumes that Live Oak always brings its best effort whenever it takes the court. That’s why the Acorns were able to go undefeated in division play, as they always showed up and gave maximum effort. As expected, Live Oak had several players earn recognition in the all-league selections. Gomez won league MVP honors, Raegan Kirk was the co-Junior of the Year, Aleah Rafat and Alex Jaramillo earned First Team honors and Ayra Gomez the Second Team.
According to Kiefer, Adrianne Gomez finished her career as the all-time leading scorer in school history, totaling 1,331 points to break Ricky Berry’s record that was set in 1981.
“It’s unbelievable,” Gomez said. “I didn’t really think I was close to doing that, and I just think it’s crazy it happened.”
Even though Gomez had some memorable games—including scoring a career-high 33 points against Sobrato on Jan. 29—she said Live Oak’s second contest against Sobrato was the highlight of her season because it was Senior Night and the ramifications involved were immense. Gomez scored 24 points and Rafat had 22 in a 68-52 win that completed an undefeated league season. The Acorns also went undefeated at home, which is a rarity.
“That is a pretty big thing to accomplish,” Gomez said. “To go 10-0 in league, that’s pretty crazy. That’s why that was my favorite game by far. When the final buzzer went off, all of the emotions came out and we were so happy and excited.”