Good 3-point shooting can make a lead disappear quickly and once hot-shooting Porterville snatched the advantage from Arvin, the Panthers never gave it back.
Jazlynne Medrano hit four of five 3-pointers in the first quarter, and Porterville pulled ahead for good with a 16-0 run that resulted in a 65-39 win over the Bears in the Division 3 Central Section girls basketball championship game in Fresno Friday.
An early 13-7 Arvin lead crumbled thanks largely to Medrano, who routinely beat the Bears' zone defense and found herself with uncontested looks from the outside.
"They spread us out and they were able to create open shots," Arvin coach Mario Pena said. "(Medrano) got off to a good shooting start and really altered what we do."
Things didn't get easier for the Bear offense in the third quarter. Mariah Stone hit a cutting layup on Arvin's first possession, but that would prove to be the only basket the Bears hit in the period, as they missed their ensuing 15 attempts while committing six turnovers.
It was a disappointing end to the Central Section tournament during what has been an excellent season for the Bears (28-5) who entered the day on a 13-game win streak. It was their first time qualifying for the section finals for the first time.
And with only one senior departing, the Bears are expecting to be back in this position again in short order.
"I assess (the season) as a positive," Pena said. "We're hoping we can come back here and use this experience today and use it...in the future. This team is the first one to break that barrier."