By Bill Tamburrino
Sweet 16 is a magic number in basketball and it was for the Ramona High girls as they extended their winning streak to 16 games.
The Bulldog girls beat Oceanside (10-13, 4-3) and Valley Center (5-19, 2-6) to remain undefeated in Valley League action. Ramona is now 20-6 on the season and 8-0 in the Valley League.
The Lady Bulldogs took a giant step toward the Valley League championship by beating Oceanside High School 68-38 in the Dawg House. The defensive-minded team took a seldom-used defensive strategy in the game.
“Oceanside’s best player and best scorer is Chelse Ayala. She is going to get her points so we decided to make her work for them,” said Bulldog coach Dan Marshall. “We let her get the ball and tried to deny the rest of the team from getting into the offense. We made her drive and didn’t give her an open look at the basket. Kylee (Scheib), Hannah (Farhat) and Emily (Sojourner) rotated guarding her and made her work. Whenever she got by one of them we gave them some help. As a result we outscored them as a team.”
Ramona also played team offense. Katherine Mauldin and Kailey Hill recorded double doubles. Mauldin scored 18 points and grabbed 14 boards with 10 under the offensive bucket. Hill scored 14 points and hauled in 12 boards with three assists, three steals and two blocked shots. Chiara Mattern hit three from beyond the arc on her way to 15 points. Scheib (8), Christina Barrameda (6), Farhat (5) and Lauren Werhanowicz (2) also scored in the league win.
Ramona beat Valley Center 73-42. The Lady Dawgs scored the first 13 points and Marshall substituted liberally throughout the game. Every member of the team played and scored.
Again, defense was the key to the victory. When asked about the level of competition after the game, posing the question, “Is the Valley League that bad?” Marshall responded, “No, we are that good. Every member of our team could start on every other team in the league. I could start any player on our team and not miss a beat. We have played a tough schedule and every girl has played in games that were on the line. When I missed games, Coach (Ken) Scheib stepped in and we won big games. His presence adds to the culture of our team. We do it with the fundamentals: defense, rebounding and unselfish team play.”
Barrameda led all scorers despite seeing limited action. The senior point guard played well on both ends of the court as she scored 22 points, grabbed five rebounds and had four steals. She was torrid from beyond the arc as she hit four of four on 3-point shots.
Mauldin and Kylee Scheib also scored in double figures, each posting 10 points. Mauldin led the team with nine rebounds. Mattern scored 7 points, dished off four assists and had three steals.
Werhanowicz (8), Farhat (2), Sojourner (3) and Molly McLeod (4) also scored in the win.
The Lady Bulldogs will play for the outright Valley League title on Friday at 5:30 p.m., which will be Senior Night. The ceremony honoring seniors Ashlyn Savage, Barrameda and Hill will start at 5:15 p.m.