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Ford Gets Last Word

Posted: January 30, 2008 3:35 a.m.
Updated: April 1, 2008 2:02 a.m.
It didn't start stinging for Hart High senior center Megan Ford until the next day or so. But sting, a loss 2 1/2 weeks ago against the Valencia girls basketball team did.

"I've played so many games against Valencia at Valencia High," said Hart's scoring leader. "I couldn't believe the last time I played there, it was a loss."
Don't pity her, though.
The healing came Tuesday.
Ford came only 11 points shy of matching the entire Vikings lineup all by herself Tuesday with 24, as the Indians avenged a 19-game league winning streak-ending loss with a 51-35 victory on its home floor.
"I wasn't willing to lose in my last time ever playing against them," she said. "None of us were."
As a result, the driver's seat is more Hart's than ever.
The win was the fifth straight in Foothill League play for the Indians, who are alone in first place with three games to go.
Valencia (15-8, 4-3) could have forged a three-way first-place tie with both the Indians (15-8, 6-1) and Saugus.
"This was our league championship game," said Valencia head coach Jerry Mike. "But Hart didn't want to lose to us twice in the same season."
A combination of strong offense from Ford and Haley Hammond, who scored 10, and an off-shooting night by all Vikings was the difference.
The Vikings struggled from the outset, spotting the Indians a 13-2 headstart to open the game.
After climbing to within three points early in the second quarter, with 12 of the next 16 points, they disappeared.
Valencia scored just five points in the quarter.
"When we had shots, we didn't make them," Mike said. "Hart just played a lot better than we did tonight."
Leading 26-16 at halftime, the Indians used an 11-0 run early in the second half to break the game open. They scored on their first four possessions.
Valencia countered with just eight points in the frame.
"Our goal coming into the game was that - to hold them to single-digits in two quarters," said Hart head coach Zach Koebel. "And we noticed that they haven't won a game when they've scored less than 50."
They couldn't even get to 40.
No Viking reached double figures in the game. Chelsey Hastigan's nine led the way.
Ford found no such difficulties. She scored more than Hastigan on free throws alone, hitting 10 foul shots.
With 1:50 remaining in the third quarter, a layup by the center increased Hart's lead to 40-21 and gave Ford her 18th point, three shy of Valencia at the time.
It was a recipe for success.
"She averages six or seven offensive rebounds per game," Koebel said. "When you do that and you can get the second-chance points and free throw attempts that she can get, that's huge for us. Give credit to the rest of the girls, too, for recognizing our strength and getting it to her."
Now, only three more obstacles remaining in the senior's pursuit of a third career varsity league championship.


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