East County Sports

Experienced Eagles take Bulldogs to school

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Granite Hills celebrates following its first-round road victory at Ramona Tuesday night.



By Ramon Scott
© East County Sports.com

RAMONA (2-24-16) — The Granite Hills girls basketball team met the Ramona Bulldogs for the second-straight year in the San Diego CIF Division I playoffs and the Eagles came away with a road victory just like last February.

The Eagles put a similar beat down of the heralded Bulldogs when the teams met last Feb. 26, as Granite came away this time with a 59-45 win in a Division I first-round game. Last year in this first round Granite Hills won, 49-34. Five members of this flock of Eagles played a big part in that game, and they all seemingly turned in a bigger performance in the rematch last night.

MICAYELA HERNANDEZ turned in a title-worthy performance on the Bulldogs’ home floor against the 10-0 Valley League champs, scoring 22 points, grabbing seven rebounds and making three assists, as the Eagles created the same fast start as in last year’s meeting. She was 4-for-8 from long distance.

The Eagles (15-12) jolted out to a 19-9 lead after RAELLEAH MOORE leaned in for an inside hoop early in the second quarter after the Bulldogs (18-8) closed an early lead with a couple of threes. Then Granite made three straight stops on the defensive end and extended the lead to 21-8.

A couple of minutes later, EMMA KUBARI found Moore with an incredible pass from the left sideline to a cutting Moore on the opposite side of the key and driving toward the lane. Moore converted the tough hoop on her way to 15 points on the night. The Eagles led 23-14 at that point.

Kubari extended the Eagles’ lead to 27-16 with a driving inside basket along the right side of the lane, then moments later DELANY CASEY scored a bucket for Granite Hills to make it 29-18.

The defenses took over near the end of the first half, as Ramona stayed in the game with another pair of threes.

In the third period, Hernandez extended the lead to 38-25 with a length-of-the-court fast break drive and layup, as her play dominated the flow in the quarter.

Ramona came out hitting its shots in the fourth to close the gap to 10 points with 6:06 left in the game. The Eagles appeared to go into a bit of a more patient, clock-consuming offense, but the play sets resulted in poor shots, turnovers and shot clock violations.

KANI KUBARI had a big basket on an offensive rebound and putback to make it 45-34 Eagles, which also drew a foul, which she converted.

With 1:34 left, Moore capped her stellar night with a coast-to-coast drive to put Granite Hills ahead 54-40.

Granite Hills held a 57-42 late advantage when Kani Kubari scored on a great pass from Moore, who was floating down the lane when she fired the pass to the left of the key that Kubari ended with a 10-footer.

Moore racked up 16 rebounds in the contest and handed out three assists, while Emma Kubari had nine points, three assists and three rebounds.

“I couldn’t be prouder of this group,” said Eagles coach CURTIS NORWOOD. “We now know why the tortoise beat the hare. These young ladies have continued to emproved and they are playing their best basketball at the right time.

“The girls are really working hard to increase their basketball I.Q.”

The Eagles advance to face second-seeded Mt. Carmel, which needed overtime to beat Helix, 48-46, on Tuesday night (Feb. 23). Coincidentally, the Eagles swept the season series from the now-common opponent of Mt. Carmel:  Helix.

Granite Hills:  Micayela Hernandez 22 (7 reb, 3 ast, 3 stl), Raelleah Moore 13 (16 reb, 3 ast), Emma Kubari 9 (3 reb, 3 ast), Diamond Hollis 7 (1 reb, 1 ast), Delaney Casey 6 (1 reb, 1 ast), Kani Kubari 4 (4 reb, 1 stl, 2 blk), Shanice Lacey (1 reb).

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