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February 10, 2010 > Lady Cougars avert disaster

Lady Cougars avert disaster

By Nick Zambrano
Photos By William Mancebo

On Wednesday, Feb. 3, the Lady Vikings of Irvington High School almost shocked the Mission Valley Athletic League (MVAL) when they nearly upset first place Newark Memorial High School. However, the Lady Cougars did prevail, 37-35, in a game that could easily be called one of the season's most intense games.

At the end of third quarter, Irvington gripped a 24-23 lead partly because of the clutch 3-point shooting from Michelle Lee and Donna Huynh.

"They got hot, they've got some really good shooters and we were struggling to get a foothold on our defensive sets," said Newark assistant coach Bryan Cobb.

Huynh was 3-7 from behind the 3-point line and finished with nine points; Lee finished with eight points.

Late in the fourth, Newark found themselves in the bonus and a very slim two-point lead. Senior Franchesca Ruta held the game in her hands with her one-and-one attempt. The tension was deep when Ruta sank the first shot, but a sigh of relief followed when she sank the second.

"I just had the confidence and I just made them," Ruta said. "The win was really important because last time we lost to Irvington and we needed to hold our first place spot."

The hold on first place is significant to Ruta and her teammates because the Washington High School Lady Huskies are climbing the MVAL ladder and are anxious to try and bump Newark.

Chaunise Powell and Taylor Norman led the Lady Cougars in scoring with 11 and 10 points respectively. For Irvington, junior Katelyn Lopez led all players with 10 rebounds, she also collected eight points.

Despite the fight, Irvington drops their record to 8-15, 3-7 before their final home game with James Logan High School on Friday, Feb. 12, at 7:30 p.m.

NEWARK MEMORIAL 55, WASHINGTON 72: Kaley Marden lit up the Lady Cougars for 25 points and eight rebounds in Washington's domination on Friday, Feb. 5. The 25 points marked a season-high for the versatile senior whose previous season high was 10 points less.

The win gives the Lady Huskies their fourth straight win, and more importantly are now just one game behind Newark for first place in the MVAL. Washington bumps their record up to 13-9, 8-2 with the win. Coach Clarence Benjamin and company will try to make it five straight when they square off with John F. Kennedy High School on Wednesday, Feb. 10, at 7:30 p.m.

AMERICAN 45, JAMES LOGAN 47: Logan edged out a pesky Lady Eagles team to win their second straight game. Before beating Kennedy on Wednesday, Feb. 3, the Lady Colts were dragging a three-game losing streak with them. In addition, Logan rebounds to the .500 mark in MVAL play with a 5-5 record. American on the other hand drops to 4-5 in league, while still maintaining a 13-9 overall record. Both American and Logan will be off until Friday, Feb. 12. American will face Washington in their final game of the year, while Logan will do battle with Irvington.


HAYWARD 58, MT. EDEN 48: It was just a simple case of Nailah Davis being Nailah Davis for Hayward's win on Friday, Feb. 5. Davis was one of two Hayward High shooters that broke the doubled-digit mark with her 14 points. Brandi Gardere led the Lady Farmers in scoring with 15 points, and also shooting an incredible 68 percent from the field.

With the win, the Lady Farmers up their record to 12-9 overall, while their Hayward Area Athletic League (HAAL) record moves up to 9-3. The girls from Hayward will try to avenge an earlier loss when they face off with Castro Valley High School on Wednesday, Feb. 10, at 5 p.m. The Lady Monarchs will attempt to bounce back when they take on Arroyo High School at 5:30 p.m.

SAN LORENZO 14, MOREAU CATHOLIC 63: With the win, Moreau Catholic jumps over Castro Valley for second place in the HAAL and gains more momentum going into the tail end of the season. Equally important, the Lady Mariners etched out its ninth straight win. The streak will have its most difficult task on Wednesday, Feb. 10, when Moreau makes their way to Oakland to play first-place Bishop O'Dowd High School, who remains unbeaten in HAAL play, and owns a 13-game win streak.

TENNYSON 40, ARROYO 44: Tennyson continues to struggle in HAAL play as Arroyo scraped past them on Friday, Feb. 5. The Lady Lancers dropped to 0-12 in the HAAL, but can break into the win column against a 1-11 San Leandro High School team on Wednesday, Feb. 10, at 5:30 p.m.

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