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Too Much To Handle

Lady Knights succumb to Oakdale pressure

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Too Much To Handle

Ripon Christian's Kelsey Tillema battles for the loose ball with Oakdale's Carley Barton during the championship game of the Lady Knights Classic Wednesday at Ripon Christian.

IKE DODSON/The Bulletin

POSTED December 31, 2009 2:52 a.m.
RIPON – When the Oakdale Mustangs turned up their full-court pressure, Ripon Christian was unable to conquer the challenge, falling to the Mustangs 47-32 in the championship of the Lady Knights Classic Wednesday at Ripon Christian.

The Knights (5-5) found the simplest of tasks too difficult to perform against a stifling Oakdale press, forfeiting a decent first quarter effort with a dismal performance in the second period.

“I think early on we weren’t mentally ready for the game,” Ripon Christian senior Kelsey Tillema said. “Once we settled down we made better adjustments, but we weren’t ready or prepared when we started the game.”

Oakdale (9-1) came out on all cylinders in the title game, riding the hot hand of all-tournament standout Cassandra Clark on offense while displaying different versions of well executed full and half-court presses.

Clark scored 14 points in the first half while Ripon Christian put up just 21 as a team. The Knights came out of the locker room at halftime looking up at a 13-point deficit and an Oakdale squad that little interest in loosening any of its pressure.

The Knights were able to battle over the final two periods, reaching double-digits in the third period, but even the rejuvenated effort left Ripon Christian with too much ground to cover. Tillema led a Ripon Christian team over the second-half, scoring 10 points and providing the physical play the Knights lacked in the first-half.

“We all know that it gets rough down there sometimes,” Tillema said. “So in order to win and do well you cannot be weak; you have to play tough.

“Regardless, we are going to keep our heads up and play hard.”

Ripon Christian also got a stellar effort out of junior post-player Raeann De Rousse. De Rousse was the only Knight capable of finding the basket in the first half, scoring six points and finishing the game with 10 points.

Two Knights closed out their tourney with all-tournament honors, as Tillema and guard Amanda Boersma were both Ripon Christian selections.

Ripon Christian will try and get back on the right track Tuesday when they travel Calaveras to take on the Redskins in a non-league matchup. Tipp-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
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