Ramona High’s Lady Bulldogs entered their second tournament of the season, the Bronco Invitational, and ended up playing nine games in 12 days at one stretch.
“Next year I won’t enter two tournaments back to back,” said Erin O’Connor, the team’s coach. “We actually were playing in two tournaments at one time, and we haven’t had enough practice time. We have improved with every game and I am proud of the way we have competed. We are on our way to a good season.
“Every player has given a good effort. We have had to adjust on the run. We can correct the mistakes we have made in practice.”
Ramona finished the tournament with a 5-5 record as the team entered its last tournament at Serra High School before entering Valley League play after the school district’s winter break.
Playing so many games in a short period of time doesn’t allow players to heal from minor injuries and aches and pains. Girls basketball is a physical game, and Ramona has been playing some very physical teams.
The Lady Dawgs started the Rancho Bernardo Invitational Tournament by beating the host Rancho Bernardo Broncos 59-53.
RaeAnne Van Tol dominated the boards as she grabbed a season high 23 rebounds and scored 12 points. Kellie Schoepp also made her presence felt in the paint as she hauled in 14 boards and scored 22 points.
Schoepp made the most of her free throw opportunities as Rancho Bernardo sent her to the charity stripe 13 times and she hit 12 free throws.
Tessa Balcom scored all of her 15 points by beating the Bronco zone with five three point goals. Paige Conroy scored 6 points. Felisha Stead scored 2 points and Kim Whelehon scored 2 points in the victory.
Poway High School handed Ramona’s Lady Dawgs their first loss of the season in a second round game in the Rancho Bernardo Invitational. The Titans beat the Lady Bulldogs 64-28 on the Titans’ home court.
Poway’s pressure defense stopped the Ramona attack as the Lady Titans manned up and cut off the passing lanes to keep Ramona from getting three point shots. The Titans forced over 30 turnovers. No Ramona player scored in double figures.
Morgan Gross led the Lady Dawgs in scoring with 6 points. Balcom (5), Conroy (4), Stead (3), Tori Sheppard (1), Van Tol (2) and Whelehon (2) scored in the game. Balcom and Stead hit one 3-point goal apiece.
Ramona bounced back to play well in a 53-48 loss to perennial power Cathedral Catholic. Ramona’s offense got back in gear as Schoepp led all scorers with 18 points.
Ten of Schoepp’s points came from free throws as the Dons had to foul her in the paint. Schoepp grabbed an amazing 17 rebounds to register a double-double.
Balcom hit two more 3-point goals and added 8 points to the Lady Bulldog cause. Conroy hit a 3-pointer and scored 8 points.
Stead (7), Christie Flores (4) and Van Tol (4) also scored against the Lady Dons. Van Tol made her presence felt in the paint as she grabbed 13 rebounds.
Ramona traveled to play Valley League foe, Westview High School, and lost 56-29. Westview used a stifling defense to force 26 turnovers.
The game started evenly but the Wolverines used a 15-1 run to put the game away in the first period. Westview led 15-5 and the end of one period of play and took a 31-12 advantage into the locker room at intermission. The Lady Dawgs played well in the third period and trailed 41-22 going into the final eight minutes.
Schoepp led Ramona with 9 points and the senior forward pulled down nine rebounds. Van Tol scored 8 points and grabbed eight boards. Balcom hit Ramona’s only 3-point goal and scored 6 points.
Flores (3), Stead (2) and Gross (2) also scored for the Lady Dawgs. Gross Flores and Conroy contributed three rebounds apiece in the game.
Ramona lost its final game in the Bronco Invitational to Canyon Crest Academy 62-41. Ramona hit four 3-point goals in the game.
Stead led the Lady Dawgs with 10 points and hit two treys. Van Tol scored 8 points. Beam scored 5 points and sank one 3-pointer. Sheppard scored 4 points. Balcom had one 3-point goal. Conroy scored 4 points and Gross scored 3 points.
The Lady Dawgs were without the services of senior Kellie Schoepp, who sat out the game with an injury. The extent of the injury was not known at press time.