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CHS girls fall into a groove with 66-10 win

Claremont High School girls basketball never quite found their groove Tuesday night, losing to Ribet Academy 58-38 in the opening round of the annual Claremont Tournament. However, on Wednesday they turned the tables, crushing Bloomington Christian 66-10.

To be fair, both Claremont and Ribet had their struggles. A full four minutes elapsed before the Fighting Frogs landed the game’s first basket, but they started looking pretty good after that and quickly opened a ten-point gap.

The loss can be summed up in two unfortunate stats: The Pack had 16 turnovers and made just 16 field goals in 57 attempts.

Claremont has some clear talent most notably from dynamo Camille Troncone who had enough hustle for ten of her rivals and Laurel Marchant who was the most consistent scorer.

The Fighting Frogs maintained a comfortable lead, but Claremont rallied in the third quarter, coming within 10 points on back-to-back three-pointers from Troncone as well as field goals from Lauren Steffen and Marchant.

Ribet also had a fair amount of height over Claremont, with their center Janette Mensah and also Rosemary Odebunmi towering over the Pack’s defenders. This meant that the Fighting Frogs got nearly every rebound and made several of those second chances count.

The turnovers were particularly painful for the Pack, but also offered an opportunity, as it seemed that half of the time somebody just missed a signal and was playing out of position. The girls also needed to upgrade their passing game.

“We had a poor shooting night, 16 for 57 from the field, only two free throw attempts, got beat up on the boards and 16 turnovers you can’t win basketball games that way,” said Coach Darryl Kennedy following the game.

“We’ve got to get on the same page, it’s early in the season, but that is why we play these tournaments to gauge where we are,” said coach Kennedy

On Wednesday the Pack played much better against Bloomington Christian.

The win was big surprise because in the past few years the Ravens had a very good team. Last season Bloomington had a 22-3 record, were undefeated in league and made it all the way to the CIF semi final game, where they lost to Faith Baptist 67-56. But when the Ravens lost their long time coach and some key players, everything changed.

Marchant led the way with 18 points followed by Christina Carazo with 14 and Gaby Watkins chipped in another 10 points. Ella Nolte led us in rebounding with seven and four points of her own.

“Bloomington Christian is rebuilding but has a very bright future with in Coach Haley White who knows the game inside and out. I look for them to really be good in a few years,” said coach Kennedy

The Claremont Tournament is in its 19th year according to Coach Kennedy, who has been head coach for nine years. The tournament winds up on Friday with games in both the afternoon and evenings.

—Steven Felschundneff

steven@claremont-courier.com