Jimenez’s record stays perfect in Cardinals’ win

If Bishop Diego’s Jennifer Jimenez could have one wish on Senior Night, it would have been for her Cardinals to beat her hometown Warriors and preserve a claim that most Bishop alumni can only dream of.

Jimenez’s girls basketball teams have defeated Carpinteria in every meeting in her four-year varsity career and Thursday night’s edition at the Brickhouse was close, but the result no different.

The Cardinals rode the strength of a 17-point second quarter to hold off a furious fourth-quarter rally from the Warriors in a 32-30 Frontier League victory that solidified Bishop’s second-place standing.


“She hasn’t lost in four years to Carpinteria so we’re happy to send her out with a win,” said Bishop Diego head coach Jeff Burich of Jimenez, who shares the team captain duties with fellow senior Heather Aijian.

It wasn’t at all a sure thing, however, as the Warriors closed a seven-point fourth-quarter deficit to two points twice. After Janelle Kohler answered the first time with a bucket that put the Cardinals back up by four, Carpinteria stifled Bishop into a shot-clock violation.

On the ensuing possession, Amanda Burch badly missed a shot that went out of bounds but immediately stole the ball back on the inbounds pass and went in for a layup. She lost her balance after being fouled on the play, taking a hard fall onto her back that took her a few moments to shake off.

Bruised but not shaken, Burch knocked down the two free throws to pull the Warriors to 30-32.

Several intentional fouls and a missed free throw later, Carpinteria had the ball with 11 seconds to go and a chance to tie it or win it with a 3-pointer.

Nicole Pearce took a pass at the top of the key but was tightly defended, so she quickly found a wide-open Jaclyn Guerrero. The ball went in, then out.

“My heart dropped, I was like – oh no, we’re going to go to overtime and who who know what is going to happen. Thank god it came back out,” said Jimenez of the final moments with her perfect record against Carp in the balance.

“It was quite a spectator game. It was a rivalry and it had everything,” said Mercer, who, along with Burich, awaits Sunday’s playoff pairings. “I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud of a team and a comeback and their spirit and their heart. I think our captains rolled us back.”

“We were just relentless,” stated Burch – the Warriors’ leading scorer in league play. “We stayed aggressive and never gave up and had a nice run at the end that allowed us to close the gap and help us get a little more faith.”

Pearce led the Warriors with eight points and Caitlin Wallace, Burch and Gina Targoni all had six. Targoni also had a team-high 10 rebounds.

The Cardinals finish their regular season with a 16-8 overall record, 8-2 in Frontier League play. Carpinteria went 15-9, 6-4.

Bishop Diego’s Dalise Spence posted a game-high nine points – the first time she’s led the team in scoring this season.

“I wanted to get revenge from last game because I didn’t do so well,” she said, although the Cardinals had an easier time in that one with a 14-point margin of victory.

Burich will take the win either way.

“It was closer than we would have liked, but for senior night, for the last game, for Carpinteria, it’s going to give us momentum,” he said.


CARPINTERIA – Pearce 8, Wallace 6, Burch 6, Targoni 6, Guerrero 4.

BISHOP DIEGO – Perez 1, Breuer 5, Houston 3, Aijian 1, JKohler 4, KKohler 4, Spence 9, Jimenez 5.

Carpinteria    10  6   5  9  – 30

Bishop Diego 6  17  5   4  – 32

3-Pointers – C 1 (Burch), BD 2 (Houston, Jimenez)