By Bill Tamburrino
Ramona High School’s girls basketball team opened the 2011-12 season by traveling to Coronado High School to play in the Coronado Thanksgiving Shootout.
The Lady Dawgs dominated the first two days of action and earned a spot in the championship game on Saturday.
Ramona’s defense dominated the first day of action. The girls play a relentless person-to-person defense that puts constant pressure on the ball and cuts off passing lanes.
They opened against Francis Parker High School with a 54-16 victory. Ramona held the Lancerettes scoreless in the first quarter and led 15-0 going into the second period.
Ramona’s offense continued to roll as they built a 30-4 lead at intermission. Ramona’s defense continued to dominate Parker as the Lady Dawgs held Parker to 1 point in the third period to lead 44-8 going into the final eight minutes. The two teams played evenly in the final period.
RaeAnne VanTol and Tiana Zuniga shared the scoring honors as both scored 11 points. Paige Conroy (7), Kailey Hill (6), Megan Buckley (3), Julie Ward (4), Kim Whelehon (4) and Katheryn Mauldin (8) also scored in the win. Conroy, Buckley and Zuniga hit one 3-point goal apiece.
Ramona’s defense played even better in the second game of the tourney as the Lady Dawgs held Clairemont High School to 10 points in a 77-10 victory.
Whelehon and VanTol shared scoring honors as they both contributed 19 points on offense. Conroy also scored in double digits with 15 points. Hill (9), Zuniga (6), Mauldin (6) and Ashlyn Savage (3) also scored in the victory.
Ramona advanced to the championship game in the tournament by beating Steele Canyon. They faced stiffer competition in day two of the shootout but had enough guns to stay undefeated.
They beat Steele Canyon 58-39 as they jumped out to a 13-8 lead in the first period and never looked back. Whelehon had a tournament high 22 points. She sank three 3-point goals in the process.
Conroy and Zuniga both registered in double figures with 11 and 14 points, respectfully. Conroy had one 3-point goal. Hill (2), VanTol (6) and Mauldin (3) also scored for the Lady Dawgs.
Whelehon continued to have a hot hand in a 59-35 win over Chula Vista to end pool play in the shootout. The senior guard scored 17 points and sank four shots from beyond the 3-point arch. Conroy (12) and VanTol (13) also scored in double figures. Conroy hit one trey in the game. Niki Spring (3), Hill (9) Zuniga (3) and Mauldin (2) rounded out the scoring. The Lady Bulldogs will host La Costa Canyon on Friday at 7 p.m. in the Dawg House.