By Bill Tamburrino
Ramona High girls basketball finished its non-league schedule by hosting and beating Mt. Carmel High School 63-59.
The Lady Dawgs will enter Valley League play with a 12-6 record against some of the best competition in the county.
The Sundevils (13-5) got off to a fast start and led 16-10 at the end of the first quarter and held on to a 25-18 lead at intermission.
Then the Lady Bulldogs got hot. Ramona out-scored Mt. Carmel 26-10 in the third quarter and took its first lead of the game with 4:20 remaining in the third period. Ramona would not relinquish the lead but the Sundevils kept constant pressure on them until the final buzzer.
When asked what made a big difference in this game, coach Dan Marshall said, “Katherine Mauldin’s defensive play on Ali Engelhardt. Ali averages 26 points a game and Katherine held her to 13 and she did it all by herself. We didn’t double Ali or give Katherine any help.”
It is the second time this season that Mauldin has held a 20-point-per-game-plus scorer to half her season average.
Mauldin turned in another double double as she scored 15, grabbed 10 boards, blocked a shot and dished off assists.
Kailey Hill also turned in a complete effort before fouling out in the fourth quarter. Hill scored 21 points with two 3-pointers, grabbed seven boards, dished off three assists and played stellar defense. Hill blocked two shots and had three steals.
Four Lady Dawgs scored in double figures. Freshman Chiara Mattern scored 12 points and hit two from beyond the arc, and was a clutch 6-for-6 from the free throw line. Mattern also grabbed three boards and had three steals.
Point guard Christina Barrameda scored 12 points, grabbed nine boards, and had two assists, two blocked shots and a steal.
Kylee “The Cheetah” Scheib grabbed seven defensive rebounds and blocked two shots. Molly McLeod came off the bench in a pressure situation and grabbed two key boards. Lauren Werhanowicz came in for Hill in clutch time and hit a key shot after grabbing a rebound and hit a clutch free throw. Hannah Farhat came off the bench and played her usual tough defense and moved the ball on offense.
Ramona opens Valley League play with two weeks on the road before its first home game Feb. 5.