ERIE --Wethersfield senior guard Sarah Hansen has both good memories and badof Erie High School's annex gymnasium.|
Wednesday evening, Hansen reawakened the good vibes in the old gym. One year after setting a tournament record with nine 3-pointers, she bagged six treys against Stockton and finished with a game-high 28 points as the Lady Geese prevailed 64-44 at the fourth annual Cliff Warkins Memorial Cardinal Classic.
"I just had that thing in me where I knew it was going to be one of those nights,'' said Hansen, whose efforts helped the Geese to their eighth straight victory.
Junior teammate Kristen Parsons, who also bagged a pair of treys, added 16 points in the victory.
Now, Hansen hopes her efforts can lead to Wethersfield (13-3) earning a championship-game rematch with fellow tourney unbeaten Knoxville. Last year in the annex gym, she had what she calls "one of my worst games'' as the Blue Bullets took the title.
"Before this game, I was thinking of the Knoxville game and how bad I did,'' said the reigning Warkins girls' Most Valuable Player. "That's a thought I didn't want to have in my head. I really want us to win the title this year.''
While Hansen's hot hand was firing up the Lady Geese to a 2-0 tournament start, the host Erie Cardinals' bid to stay perfect in Warkins play hit a snag as a scrappy and hard-working Rockridge club built a 10-point halftime lead and never let up in a 47-30 victory.
"Shawn's (Rockridge coach Shawn Strachan) girls played hard and they wanted it. They outworked us, and that's a shame,'' said Erie coach Brian Howell, whose 9-5 club was led by Paige Rus's seven points. "We're too talented to come out and not play hard. Talent only gets you so far.''
A big second quarter by Rockridge senior Miranda Potter enabled the Rockets (5-9) to turn a 9-6 lead after the first period to a 25-15 halftime edge. Potter scored 10 of her game-high 15 points in that quarter. Teammate Destiny Grawe added 12 points.
"Erie is extremely athletic and we knew if we got in a track meet that it would not be good for us,'' said Strachan. "Our girls responded well and did a good job on defense. I thought we did a nice job of controlling their athleticism and slowing it down a bit.''
Monmouth-Roseville (8-5) did stay perfect in tournament competition with a 45-15 victory over Bureau Valley highlighted by 13 points from freshman standout Destiny Smith. Senior Colleen Judge added 10 as the Titans overcame an early 7-4 deficit, going up by nine at halftime before holding the Storm to just six second-half points.
"I don't think we were ready to play mentally,'' said Mon-Rose coach Jim Cole. "We really didn't get anything going until the second half.''
Meantime, Knoxville also moved to 2-0 in Warkins competition by dominating Ridgewood 57-16 behind Tessa Jones' 18 points and a 17-point outing from Kelly Lenz. The Blue Bullets took an 18-6 lead after the first quarter, then blanked the Spartans in the second period to go up 37-6 at halftime, closing the first half with a 35-1 run.
Both Galva (5-7) and Fulton got in the victory column Wednesday. The Lady Cats fended off a late Morrison rally to beat the Fillies 55-51 as senior standout Alex Strom bagged five 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 22 points. Fulton's Steamers handled Mercer County 51-27 behind 17 points from senior forward Morgan Wierema.
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