Lady Knights Dominate Big Early Season Showdown
By Andrew Smith
La Jolla (12/6/2013) – The La Jolla Country Day Sweet 16 Invitational isn’t just another preseason tournament. It always contains some of the best teams on the west coast and this year’s version is no different. Containing five of the Top-20 teams from California is certainly nothing to scoff at. Throw into that mix the fact that two rivals were squaring off so early in the season only added more intensity onto the court.
“It’s great to play really good teams early in the season,” said Bishops head coach MARLON WELLS. “You never want to get too high or too low and you know exactly what you have to work on from there.”
The Knights-Torreys’ rivalry is well-documented and always hard fought, but in Friday night’s semifinal showdown Bishops rolled to a rather easy 70-34 victory to put themselves in the tourney finale Saturday night.
“It always feels good to beat your rival especially this early in the season,” senior SIERRA DUCEY admitted after season an early season-high 16 points. “We have a really young team so it’s just great to get out to this 5-0 start.”
The biggest storyline was the Knights’ defense. Not only did they hold LJCD to 25% shooting from the field – including 0-for-10 from deep – they also forced 28 Torreys’ turnovers and turned those into 24 points.
“Our girls did a great job of communicating and playing team basketball,” added Wells. “We dug down deep defensively, rotated well and never gave them easy shots.”
After a self-proclaimed “slow start” to the season, freshman DESTINY LITTLETON is starting to find her groove…
“She can shoot, but she also plays so hard and physical it really gets the rest of us going,” admitted Ducey.
After a 34-point outburst the day before, she posted her second straight double-double with 23 more – on 7-of-13 shooting – also adding 11 boards, 5 assists and 4 steals.
“I really struggled early on this year,” Littleton described. “I had a real long talk with myself and decided I just needed to step it up, especially tonight against a rival.”
The Knights only owned a seven point halftime lead, but outscored LJCD 45-16 in the second half. Admittedly their main focus was on MAI-LONI HENSON and SABRINA GIBSON. They combined for 19 pts, 16 reb while the rest of the team had 15 and 9.
“When you have a really young team game like this can happen,” Torreys’ coach TERRI BRAMFORD said after. “I don’t think any of us saw this coming, but it was a good ole’ butt kicking.”
La Jolla Country Day: Mai-loni Henson 10 (10 reb, 4 ast, 2 stl), Sabrina Callahan 9 (6 reb, 1 stl, 1 blk), Isabel Johnson 6 (1 reb, 1 ast), Cydney Collins 4 (2 reb, 1 stl, 1 blk), Melanie Quijano 3 (3 reb, 3 ast), Mariana Eciji 2 (3 reb, 4 stl, 1 blk)
Bishops: Destiny Littlefield 23 (11 reb, 5 ast, 4 stl, 1 blk), Sierra Ducey 16 (5 reb, 5 ast, 2 stl), Malea Casillas 13 (9 reb, 4 ast, 2 stl), Imani Littleton 8 (9 reb, 2 ast, 5 stl, 4 blk), Karinne Aguire 7 (1 reb, 2 stl), Christina Frank 3 (1 reb), Anna Szymanski (1 reb, 1 stl)