Nordhoff's Lady Ranger cagers
rebound from Santa Paula loss
by Misty Volaski
Nordhoff's girls' varsity basketball team knew they had their
work cut out for them last Friday, as they met the Frontier League's
two-time league champions Santa Paula. Despite the home-turf
advantage, the Cardinals slipped by the Lady Rangers to come
out on top, 61-55.
The loss put Nordhoff out of the running for the first-place
position in league.
The majority of the game found the Rangers and the Cardinals
neck-and-neck, tied at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Lindsey
Mezori was Nordhoff's strongest force on the court, with 18 points,
eight of which came from the free throw line. Alison Bennett,
Shannon Popp, and freshman Sarah Nylander each had eight points
and a combined 29 rebounds. Becky Kennedy added six points to
the scoreboard along with five rebounds.
Sarah Ruiz, one of Santa Paula's and Ventura County's leading
shooters, was tightly guarded by Nordhoff's defense, who limited
Ruiz to just three field goals. However she was awarded 10 free
throws from various Ranger fouls.
While Nordhoff concentrated on Ruiz, two unsuspecting Cardinal
powerhouses stepped out of the shadows and proved to be the Rangers'
undoing. Nordhoff coach Ted Cotti his girls weren't prepared
for such strong play from two virtually unknown cagers.
"We stopped the key player ... then their (the Cardinals')
other two girls stepped up" and took the Rangers down, he
Saturday's nonleague match-up against San Marcos went much better;
the varsity Lady Rangers took it to the Royals, 66-48.
As usual it was senior Lindsey Mezori and sophomore Alison Bennett
who led the way, scoring 28 and 19 points, respectively.
Mezori was a force on the court, with five blocks, five assists
and nine steals, while teammate Bennett snagged 18 rebounds and
was 7-9 from the field and 5-6 from the free throw line.
The Royals found themselves straining to get past Senior Shannon
Popp and freshman starter Sasha O'Brien, who "applied full-court
pressure," Cotti said.
The win brings the Lady Rangers to a 11-10 record overall, with
a 2-2 league record.
Their last home game will be Friday, Feb. 1, against rivals Santa
Clara, junior varsity at 5 p.m. and varsity at 6:30 p.m.
© 2002 The Ojai Valley News
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