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January 6, 2010 > Girls hoops week in review

Girls hoops week in review

By Nick Zambrano
Photos By William Mancebo

With league play beginning next week, the Newark Memorial High School Lady Cougars basketball team was looking for a positive outcome in the match-up with North Salinas High School. Coming into the third-place game of the Lady Cougar Classic, Newark was 7-4, after starting the year 6-1. Needless to say, that the momentum had shifted. However, it is premature to count a team out when they have so much fight left in them.

Despite losing to North Salinas, 45-38, the Lady Cougars turned what could have been a complete blowout into a competitive game.

At the end of the first quarter they were held to just five points. North Salinas controlled the boards early on, and held the Lady Cougars to just 20 rebounds total. Point guard Chaunise Powell not only led her squad in points (17) but she also collected the most rebounds with seven.

In the second quarter, North Salinas picked up the offense and the Lady Cougars were becoming aggravated. Franchesca Ruta conveyed the team's frustrations when one of her 3-point attempts fell short. Through one quarter and a half, Newark could only muster nine points. It would only get worse. At the end of the first half, the Lady Cougars were on the south end of a 26-12 score.

It wasn't until the fourth quarter that the Lady Cougars clawed their way into the game. Despite Powell's four fouls, Newark cut the gap down to a mere 38-32 contest. And with Powell playing cautiously, Ruta and Taylor Norman took charge.

To help throw the warning at North Salinas, Norman dropped nine points and four rebounds while Ruta finished with seven points.

"Some of the other kids stepped up, our half-court trap worked and plus a few turnovers gave us opportunities to score," Newark coach Darryl Reina said. "I'm just proud of the kids, they gave themselves a chance to win the game."

After the heartbreaker to North Salinas, the Lady Cougars dropped another one, this time to the always-deadly St. Ignatius High School Lady Wildcats, 56-30, on Saturday, Jan. 2. Powell, Ruta and Norman led the way once again recording 15, 9 and 6 points respectively.

Going into their Mission Valley Athletic League (MVAL) opener with American High School on Wednesday, Jan. 6, the Lady Cougars are the owners of a 7-6 record.

American's Lady Eagles split their two games at the West Coast Jamboree girls basketball tournament last week. They opened up strong, obtaining a 63-56 victory over Montgomery High School, but in the second round fell, 51-43, to Heritage High School. They currently sit 1 1/2 games in front Newark with a 8-4 mark.

After facing off with Newark, American will play host to John F. Kennedy High School on Friday, Jan. 8, at 7:30 p.m. The Lady Eagles will have the challenge of trying to shut down Kennedy's Haley McDaniel. McDaniel currently averages an impressive 15.7 points per contest. With a win Friday, McDaniel and the Lady Titans will inch closer to a .500 record. They currently stand at 5-7.

James Logan High School lost their second game on the year when they were shown up by a very good Dublin High School team, 50-48. Camille De Leon finished the game with 11 points; Erinn Jones had 10 points of her own. The lost puts the Lady Colts at 12-2 on the year.

Logan opens up their MVAL schedule on Wednesday, Jan. 6, against Mission San Jose High School at 7:30 p.m.

The rest of the MVAL match-ups will include 6-7 Washington High School squaring off with an Irvington High School squad still struggling to find their footing, tip off is set for Wednesday, Jan. 6, at 7:30 p.m.

In the Hayward Area Athletic League (HAAL), the Hayward High School Lady Farmers were handed a devastating defeat from Dublin High School, 61-33.

Dublin gained the victory in a way that few around the HAAL have been able to accomplish: shut down Nailah Davis. The star center was held to just nine points; however she did manage to pull down 16 rebounds.

Turnovers and ill-advised passes helped put Hayward in a hole in the second half. The start of the half saw the Lady Farmers down 31-18, however Dublin - who just came off a 50-48 victory against James Logan -made sure that a comeback was out of the picture. At the end of the third quarter, the Lady Gaels put 25 points between them and Hayward and were now in command, 49-24.

The Lady Farmers were left searching for answers for Dublin's superior inside game and rebounding ability.

Nakia Leopold helped in the attempt to fill the scoring void with her seven points and five rebounds, all while coming off the bench.

Hayward - who now stand at 5-6 for the year - will attempt to rebound from the lopsided loss when they hit the road and face HAAL rival, San Lorenzo. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 6.

The remaining schedule for the HAAL includes the 6-4 Tennyson High School Lady Lancers taking a 5-7 Castro Valley High School, Wednesday, Jan. 6, at 5:30 p.m. Mt. Eden will also try to add to their win total when they face Arroyo High School in San Lorenzo Wednesday night, tip-off scheduled for 5:30.

In other action, Fremont Christian High School is currently the owners of a five-game winning streak. Since their last loss against San Jose, they have broken 45 points in four of those five games.

In other action, Milpitas High School fell short in the first round of the Folsom Tournament to Burbank, 45-44. Despite being on the losing end, the Lady Trojans saw Joanne Chau put down 20 points and Hanna Chang score 10. Milpitas (2-6) will face league rival Santa Clara High School, Friday, Jan. 8, at 6:15 p.m. in Santa Clara.

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