Rangers consolation champs
in Big Bear
by Misty Volaski
Nordhoff's girls' varsity basketball team won three of four
games at the Big Bear Tournament last week, capturing the consolation
championship and finishing the preleague portion of their 2001-2002
campaign with a 7-7 record.
The Lady Rangers opened the tournament defeating Horizon of San
Diego in overtime 61-59. Alison Bennett scored on a turn-around
jumper, and Shannon Popp made a put-back to force overtime in
a game which neither team ever led by more than four points.
Bennett, who finished with 27 points, 15 rebounds, four blocks,
four steals and five assists, added five more in the overtime,
but Ashley Thomas was the hero, scoring what proved to be the
winning basket from 5 feet after grabbing an offensive rebound.
Becky Kennedy paced NHS in the first half, scoring all eight
of her points on 4/5 shooting. She also had three assists and
Nordhoff lost in the second round to Blair of Pasadena 74-51.
The Rangers were only down three after one quarter of play, but
starters Kennedy and Alexis Kenyon both went down with tourney-ending
ankle injuries in the next minutes. The Rangers wilted under
Blair's full court pressure, committing 20 turnovers in the next
two-and-one-half quarters. Freshman shooting guard Sarah Nylander
had 12 points in the loss, sinking four three-pointers, and freshman
point guard Sasha O'Brien had a career high seven assists.
The Lady Rangers regrouped the next day, looking to Rachel Lurie
to step in for Kennedy and Kenyon. Facing host Big Bear in the
consolation championship semifinal, Lurie sank five three-pointers
on seven tries. Nylander added another four three-pointers and
Kate Krumpschmidt the team's tenth. The defense, meanwhile stiffened
behind Bennett (three blocks, four steals, 11 defensive rebounds)
and Lindsey Mezori (six steals, 10 points), and the Rangers rolled
to a convincing 51-30 victory.
Nordhoff met Horizon for a second time in the consolation finals,
and once again found themselves trailing (16-3) early. However,
in the second period, the Rangers found success when they went
to man-to-man on defense and when they found a way to work the
ball inside to Bennett on offense. Bennett hit all seven of her
shots in the game, finishing with 22 points. She also grabbed
eight rebounds, as did Popp, who added six second-half points
of her own.
Mezori also scored 11 and had three assists and three steals.
Lurie and O'Brien combined for nine assists. Nylander scored
eight, Lurie five and Danielle Rothfuss four.
Nylander and Bennett each earned all-tournament honors. Nylander
averaged 2.5 assists, 4.0 steals, 9.0 points and 6.0 rebounds
in Big Bear, making 10 of 19 three-point shots. Bennett averaged
3.0 steals, 2.0 assists, 10.2 rebounds and 16.3 points, making
23 of her 34 shots from the field.
Of his team's success, coach Ted Cotti said he was "very
proud of the way the girls rebounded from a tough loss. Our determination
and depth should help us in league (play)."
The Rangers play tonight at 5:30 p.m. against Calabasas.
© 2002 The Ojai Valley News
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