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Lions roar early, often

February 05, 1999

Broadfoarding vs. St JamesBy MIKE SIRBAUGH / Staff Correspondent

photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer




Reminiscent of first century Rome, the Saints were devoured by the Lions Thursday night. This time there was no blood, but there were a few fouls in Broadfording Christian Academy's 56-17 win over St. James (3-8) in girls basketball action.

Broadfording (19-3) scored the first seven points of the game, en route to a 24-3 first quarter, that virtually put the game away. The Saints tallied the next three points but the Lions popped in the final 17 behind the 3-point shooting of the Holt sisters.

[cont. from sports page]

B'nai and Bianca Holt each hit two from beyond the arc in the last two minutes of the period to put an exclamation point on the offensive statement.

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Broadfording coach Dana Gonzales credits some of the Holt girls' success to the development of sophomore Vanessa Ruffin, who is playing in her first year of competitive basketball.

"She's come a long way," Gonzales said. "We're trying to get her to be more of a force underneath. They were crowding her tonight and it's opening up the Holt girls to hit those outside shots.

"But I have to keep reminding them to shoot," he added. "They're so unselfish. Both of them think about assists more than points."

With Ruffin scoring seven points and gathering up seven rebounds in three quarters of work, Bianca Holt hit for 15 points, three assists and four steals. B'nai Holt added 13 points with four steals and 10 assists.

But the unsung hero of the Lions' evening was sophomore Ashley Mason. Mason took over center when Ruffin was catching a breather. She responded by picking up 15 points and a team-leading nine rebounds.

"We told Ashley before the game we thought she was going to be able to step up for us," said Gonzales, "because we knew they were going to double up on Vanessa. She is very athletic. I thought she played an all-around ball game."

Even though Broadfording's press shut out St. James in the second quarter for a 36-3 halftime score, the Saints never wavered in their effort, actually outscoring the Lady Lions 8-5 in the third period.

Caytie Smith led the Saints with eight points, scoring all six of the team's points in the final eight minutes.

Starting four sophomores and a freshman, St. James coach Ted Camp was afraid their inexperience would show through against the battle-hardened Lions.

"We lost to a great team," said Camp. "They are athletic and aggressive. Those girls can shoot and we didn't get a hand on them too often tonight. It's a good experience to play a great team like this."

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