By Bill Tamburrino
Ramona High’s girls basketball team advanced to the Elite Eight of the CIF Division II playoffs by beating Bonita Vista High School 70-47 before being upset by Santa Fe Christian High School during a quarterfinal game in the Dawg House last Friday. The loss ended the longest winning streak in Ramona basketball history.
The Bulldog girls had won 19 consecutive games before losing to Santa Fe Christian by a score of 62-43. Coach Dan Marshall’s charges finished the season with a 23-7 record and were the undefeated Valley League champions.
“My biggest disappointment is that we will not practice or play again as a team,” said Marshall. “I enjoyed every minute of coaching those young ladies and coaching with my great staff (Ken Scheib, Jim Conroy, Jim Root and Mary Schoepp).
“I am also saddened because I will be losing two of the best leaders I have ever been associated with, Kailey Hill and Christina Barrameda. Neither one is a rah-rah type of leader. They lead by example and hard work. They make every member of the team believe that they are an important part of the team. They have left a legacy that will be passed on to future Lady Bulldog basketball players.”
Marshall continued: “Whenever I hear a coach say an athlete should specialize in one sport and play it all year round, I think of my players. Kailey and Christina are both three-sport athletes and basketball is not either one’s primary sport. We could not have won a game without any of our multi-sport athletes. And I appreciate that the coaches from their other sports are there in the stands supporting them and rooting for our team. That does not go unnoticed by me or the athletes.”
In the opening round, Bonita Vista’s game plan was to full-court pressure the Lady Bulldogs and take away Katherine Mauldin by doubling her and stacking the paint. And it worked, for a while.
By loading up the paint to stop Mauldin and Kailey Hill, the Lady Barons left Chiara Mattern open beyond the arc and Mattern made them pay. Mattern hit four 3-point shots in the first quarter, Christina Barrameda hit one, and Ramona cruised to a 24-8 lead after eight minutes of play. Kylee Scheib and Hannah Farhat hit threes in the second quarter and Bonita Vista was forced to play Mauldin and Hill honestly. For that they paid.
Bonita Vista loaded the paint but Ramona controlled the boards as the Lady Dawgs out-rebounded the Lady Barons 46-22.
Ramona ended the game with four Lady Bulldogs in double figures. Hill led all scorers with 17 points. She also had six boards, four assists, four steals and two blocked shots. Mauldin turned in a monster double double as she scored 15 points and grabbed 19 rebounds. Mattern scored 14 points despite being marked after her big first quarter. Barrameda scored 12 with four assists and six boards. Scheib scored 7 and had 10 boards, five assists and three steals. Farhat scored 3 points and played her usual tenacious defense. Molly McLeod contributed 2 points and a rebound to the win.
Santa Fe Christian also loaded up in the paint to stop Mauldin and Hill and that ploy worked because Ramona had its coldest shooting night of the year. The Lady Dawgs were 8 for 41 inside the arc and 8 for 36 beyond the arc, 16 for 77 on the night.
Ramona did not score a field goal in the final 1:08 of the second quarter, and for the first 4:52 seconds of the third quarter, as Santa Fe Christian scored 13 unanswered points to take a 43-23 lead. The Eagles led by 18 going into the fourth quarter before the Lady Dawgs could find their range. Barrameda hit a 3- point shot and Mattern hit two but the Eagles ran the clock and Ramona could not stage a comeback.
Barrameda led the Lady Dawgs in scoring with 15 points to go with her six rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots.
Mattern scored 14 points and mixed it up for four rebounds. Mauldin had a game-high 13 rebounds and scored 5 points. Hill scored 4 points had seven boards and two blocked shots. Hill was hampered by a knee injury for the entire second half of the season but played like a warrior in every game. Farhat hit one 3-point shot with two rebounds and a blocked shot. Scheib got in foul trouble early and finished with 2 points. Werhanowicz played well on defense and recorded three steals.