It had been two weeks since the St. Mary’s of Stockton girls basketball team (ranked No. 1 in Northern California) had taken to the court heading into a CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoff opener on Tuesday night against Merced.
It then took only a few minutes into the game for Rams’ senior Charise Holloway, the team’s clear leader after junior Bri Moore left the school, to go down with a knee injury. The Stockton Record reported on Wednesday morning that Holloway, who has signed with Arizona, “suffered a likely season-ending knee injury.” Holloway’s mother later told the Record that an optimistic prognosis is an MCL strain.
Without Moore, St. Mary’s was still good enough to beat Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland, last year’s CIF Open Division state champion. Without Moore and Holloway, the Rams still pulled away and beat Merced on Tuesday 92-47 with Kat Tudor scoring 19 points and Carlissa Shipp scoring 17.
Despite the team now consisting almost entirely of sophomores and freshmen, St. Mary’s still probably has enough firepower to win the Division I section title and then advance into the NorCal Open Division. If that happens, the team’s resume at that point also is still strong enough to get a No. 1 seed. But without Holloway, who was the team’s best rebounder, it will be very difficult for the Rams to match up against teams like Salesian of Richmond (on a real roll right now) or St. Mary’s of Berkeley (who beat the Rams before the Moore situation developed) or Carondelet of Concord (also on a strong run recently) in that NorCal Open Division bracket.