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January 11, 2011 > American lays it on thick against Newark Memorial

American lays it on thick against Newark Memorial

By Nick Zambrano
Photo by Mike Heightchew

Now that the Mission Valley Athletic League (MVAL) girls basketball season is officially underway, the Newark Memorial Lady Cougars have officially been marked with the perennial bull's eye. Back on Jan. 4, the two-time defending league champs started their title defense on the road against a worthy opponent, the Lady Eagles from American High.

However, it wasn't quite the start Newark was looking for as American's high-powered offense stifled them, 68-52, marking their third straight loss.

"At home as well, we always want to protect our home court. It's good to start off 1-0 in league," said American coach Cherri Craddock.

After a steady first quarter in which they established a slender 19-13 lead, American started to really pour it on in the second frame. Senior sharpshooters Ande Carbonel and Camille Harris led the Lady Eagle charge and combined for nine of American's 17 second-quarter points. The duo hooked up for 21 and went an impressive 5-9 from three-point range.

"They're not only good three-point shooters but both of them have an excellent basketball IQ. They make basketball plays," said Newark coach Darryl Reina, giving a nod to Carbonel and Harris.

Before it was all said and done, Carbonel would finish with a game-high 27 points and shot 83 percent from the arc, while Harris racked 15 points and five rebounds.

It wasn't until American had built up the largest lead of the game, 47-23, that Newark started to build some momentum. Anchored by their big three -Taylor Presley, Taylor Norman and Kelsey Pease - Newark cut down on the 24-point lead with a 15-3 run that ended the third quarter.

Now 50-42, the Lady Cougars were finally back within hear shot of taking the game away from the Lady Eagles. Unfortunately, a timely 3-pointer from Carbonel and clutch rebounding from Nicole Boatley prevented Newark from stitching their wounds back up.

"We just kind of lost focus and got silly but we pulled through," Craddock said of late push by Newark.

Boatley was the third American player to notch a double digit point total, but she was also the only player to earn a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds. On the other end, Newark saw its biggest production came from Presley, who had 22 points and was 5-8 from the free-throw line.

The Lady Huskies doubled up Kennedy for their first league win of the year. The Lady Titans on the other hand, are still searching for their first MVAL win. They suffered another big thumping on Jan. 4 when Mission San Jose put it on them, 71-33.

The Lady Vikings of Irvington (7-8, 0-1) nearly pulled off a big upset against a James Logan squad who are now 12-3, 2-0 on the year. Unfortunately for Irvington, that's now four losses in their last five games. Since their last loss to Dougherty Valley on Dec. 28, the Lady Colts have ripped off three straight wins.

American high-octane offense was succumbed to Mission San Jose's menacing defense in this battle of opposites. The Lady Eagles came into the contest averaging 55.2 per game, while the MSJ defensive wall has allowed an opponent to eclipse the 40-point plateau just three times.

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