By Bill Tamburrino
The road was not kind to the Ramona Bulldog basketball team. Ramona dropped a close game at Oceanside and lost to league leading Valley Center.
The Dawgs are now 9-14 overall and are 3-5 in the Valley League and on the bubble when it comes to getting an at large CIF playoff berth.
The Bulldogs played well and were in a position to win with two minutes remaining on the clock but lost a heart-breaker at Oceanside 69-62. The Dawgs trailed most of the game but tied the game in the fourth quarter and took a brief lead before the Pirates (8-15, 3-3) took advantage of free throws that were the result of the Bulldogs having to stop the clock. Again, Tofi Pao Pao was the culprit at the charity stripe. It was Pao Pao who scored the winning free throw at Ramona in the first round of league action.
Ryan Heiar led all scorers with 21 points to go with his six boards and two assists. Heiar also made his presence felt on defense as he had two blocked shots.
Scott Stransky and Zach White also scored in double figures. Stransky scored 11 points and dished off five assists. White scored 13 points. Matt Lawler led the team in rebounding. The junior post player grabbed 10 boards and scored 4 points. Riley Hubbard (3), Dylan Fieger (6), and Davis Windes (4) also scored in the game.
The stats were even closer than the score. Ramona had 31 rebounds to Oceanside’s 32. Ramona was called for 23 fouls and the Pirates committed 22 infractions.
Ramona handed Valley Center its only league loss at Ramona in the first round of league play. According to coach David Reichner, the Bulldogs needed to beat the Jaguars at Valley Center (16-6, 6-1) in order to get an at large playoff berth.
In 2010, the last year Ramona was in the Valley League, the Bulldogs swept the Jags in league play. History did not repeat itself as the Jags beat the Bulldogs 69-42 to all but lock up the 2013 Valley League title.
“It was obvious Valley Center had that one loss on their mind and wanted payback,” reported Reichner on the Bulldog Basketball website. Reichner also said that he believed his Dawgs, for the first time, did not compete like they have all season.
“On the bus ride home the players all made good comments regarding preparation and staying aggressive when the ball doesn’t bounce our way, even when the shots aren’t falling. Also spoke about not giving up,” posted Reichner.
Fieger led the Dawgs in scoring and assists with 11 points and 3 assists. Three other Bulldogs had one assist in the game. White led the Dawgs with six rebounds to go with his 3 points. Stransky scored 7 points and Marco Cobian came off of the injury list and the bench to score 7 points. Heiar (4), Windes (2), and Lawler (8) also scored for the Dawgs.
The Bulldogs will play their final regular season game at Del Norte on Friday, Feb. 15, and then see what the seeding committee’s decision is regarding a playoff berth.