By Bill Tamburrino
Ramona High School’s girls basketball team lost a hard-fought 65-51 decision against Mt. Carmel in the opening round playoff game.
The Bulldog girls traveled to Mt. Carmel (18-10, 7-3), which got the No. 6 seed and a home game while Ramona received a questionable No. 11 seed. The Mount finished second in the Palomar League. The Lady Dawgs finished the 2012-2013 season with a 18-11 record after an 8-2 campaign and the Valley League championship.
The teams were tied at 8 after one period in the playoff game. Ramona took a 20-19 lead into the locker room at intermission. The Mount led by 3 going into the final eight minutes.
The difference in the game was Mt. Carmel’s sophomore post player Ali Engelhardt. The 6-foot forward had a career game. She grabbed an amazing 24 rebounds to Ramona’s 28 team rebounds and scored 28 points. Ramona had kept her in control offensively until the final period and actually had a scoring advantage in the paint. Kailey Hill and Katherine Mauldin switched off watching Engelhardt, and at times doubled her in the paint. In the final period Engelhardt left her post position on offense and drifted beyond the 3-point arch to get Hill and Mauldin away from the basket. Engelhardt hit three 3-point goals in the final eight minutes and that was the difference in the game.
“Our game plan was to attack the basket on offense and to try keeping Ali from scoring easy points in the paint. When she went outside and started hitting 3-pointers, that turned the tide. Our girls executed our game plan and played hard the entire game. We had a great season. I’ll take a league championship every year and be very happy,” said coach Dan Marshall after the game.
“It was a tough loss but our seniors played well. Julie Ward played her typical defensive game (3 steals, 5 rebounds, a blocked shot and 2 deflections) and was our emotional leader. Niki Spring (14 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals) did what she has done all season. She does whatever it takes for us to be successful. Hannah (Seits) has been a leader and finally got to play. She did well every time she went into the game. Just making it back from that injury is a motivation.”
Hill scored 10 points with four rebounds, two steals, two deflections and an assist. Mauldin scored a team high 15 points and led the team with seven rebounds. Christina Barrameda ran the offense, scored 9 points, and dished off two assists.
Every coach says they encourage athletes to play other sports. Marshall not only talks the talk, he walks the walk. Four of his five starters are multi-sport athletes. Three participate in three sports.
“A student/athlete should participate in as many activities as possible. If a student/athlete is capable of playing more than one sport, I encourage that. Several of our players had other commitments last summer. We could not have won a league championship without them when it really counts, in the winter,” said Marshall.