By Bill Tamburrino
Coach David Reichner was elated after his team beat Valley Center 64-59 in the Dawg House.
“The win was a major breakthrough for Ramona as their last five previous losses all came due to losing the lead in the end. This game the boys proved they can compete with the best. They can handle pressure and they can win close games,” said the coach.
The Jan. 22 game put the Dawgs in a three-way tie for first place in the Valley League with Del Norte and Valley Center. Ramona, howeverRHS lost the showdown for first place on Jan. 25 when Del Norte beat the Bulldogs.
The game against Valley Center was hard fought and evenly played from the opening tip off. The game was tied six times and the lead changed five times in the first period as Matt Lawler scored eight of the first 10 points in the paint. Ramona then went on a 7-3 run to take a 19-15 lead going into the second quarter.
In the second quarter the Bulldogs built a 10-point lead but the Jaguars rallied back to trail 34-31 at intermission. Lawler was called for his fourth foul late in the second period and sat out most of the third and part of the fourth quarter.
The third quarter was sloppy as Ramona committed 15 turnovers and forced Valley Center to turn the ball over 10 times. The Dawgs built their lead to 5 points going into the final period.
Ramona again built a 10-point lead but the Jaguars rallied to cut the lead to 62-59 with 37 ticks left on the clock and with the ball. Ramona’s defense got a stop and the Jaguars had to commit a foul to stop the clock. After being fouled, Ryan Heiar hit two clutch free throws to put the game out of reach with just seconds left on the clock.
“The game was won on the defensive end of the court by holding Valley Center to three baskets inside the 3 point line during the fourth quarter,” said Reichner.
Heiar and Alex Rogers shared the scoring honors for the Dawgs as each senior scored 14 points and had four assists. Lawler ended the game with 10 points and seven rebounds. Ramona got balanced scoring as Scott Stransky (7), Zach White (8), Marco Cobian (7), and Dylan Feiger (4) all scored in the game.
White led the team with 10 rebounds, nine on the defensive end of the court. Reichner was also pleased that his team took five charges on defense.
Three days later, Del Norte prevailed over the Bulldogs 67-53.
Del Norte took the lead mid-way through the first quarter and led 16-9 going into the second period. Ramona made a run late in the first half and got within 5 points before Del Norte took a 32-25 lead into the locker room. The Nighthawks took control of the game in the third period and coasted to a win in the second half.