Lady Ranger cagers clinch CIF playoff berth
By Jesse Phelps
Nordhoff High girls' varsity basketball
team clinched a playoff invitation and essentially ended the
defending league champion's season Friday night in Santa Paula,
defeating the Cardinals 52-47.
The Rangers relied on tough man-to-man defense most of the night,
limiting the Cardinals to just 14 points on four of 34 shooting
in the first half, while opening a six-point lead. Junior Alison
Bennett and sophomore Tahnie Benitez led the team on both ends
of the floor.
Benitez held the county's all-time leading three point shooter
to just eight points for the second time this season, and Bennett
held Cardinal center Rebecca Kolbeck (the leading scorer last
time the teams met) scoreless on the night. The NHS pair also
shared the scoring load, each scoring 14 to lead the Rangers.
"Once again," said Nordhoff coach Ted Cotti, "We
didn't have a particularly good shooting night. And very few
of the calls seemed to go our way in the second half, but Tahnie
and Alison went to battle and refused to lose. Their untiring
tenacity on defense and on the boards (nine and 14 boards, respectively)
Santa Paula went on scoring the first seven points of the second
half, taking the lead on three occasions in the third quarter.
But after back-to-back three-pointers by Sarah Nylander (five
points, four steals) and Sarah Lagos and steals by Johanna Rothermel
and Becky Kennedy, the Rangers regained control and never trailed
Rothermel sank a trey, Bennett scored on a key put-back and Ariane
Roach (five assists, five points) made a trio of free throws
down the stretch to seal the victory in the final minutes.
With the loss, Santa Paula dropped to 5-16, 1-3. Nordhoff is
now 13-10, 3-1.
The Ojai Valley News
to the news
BENNETT SEEKS to pass as Tahnie Benitez calls for the ball in
Nordhoff's game against Oaks Christian.