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Wildcats have one bad night

West Ranch commits 23 turnovers in loss

Posted: December 22, 2008 10:23 p.m.
Updated: December 23, 2008 4:55 a.m.
Wildcat Milana Morfino (4) scores against Knight's Kristina Duncan (23) at West Ranch on Monday. Wildcat Milana Morfino (4) scores against Knight's Kristina Duncan (23) at West Ranch on Monday.
Wildcat Milana Morfino (4) scores against Knight's Kristina Duncan (23) at West Ranch on Monday.

For the most part, Knight of Palmdale's girls varsity basketball team did everything right.

The team capitalized off of West Ranch's 23 turnovers and went on to defeat the Wildcats 66-51 at West Ranch on Monday night.

Wildcat Erin Ruiz's game-high 29 points was not enough to get West Ranch (4-6) a win.

"That's just way too much," West Ranch first-year head coach Randy Smith said of his team's 23 turnovers.
"That hurt us. That's 23 shots they can take. We definitely have to take care of the ball a lot better."

Knight (3-2) opened up its biggest lead in the fourth quarter, a 17-point gap the Wildcats struggled to close.

"I don't think we're the type of team that can get down and get back real quickly," Smith said. "We have to play pretty tight from the beginning."

Knight was sparked by a 12-point second half by senior Dominique Turner.

The 5-foot-5-inch guard struggled from the floor in the first half but blew the door open for the Hawks in the second half.

"It was easy on the fast breaks, we practice that," Turner said. "All we can do is contest shots and that's what we did. It was just defense in the second half."

Turner scored the majority of her second half points off of the fast break.

The closest the Wildcats came was at the end of the first quarter where the Hawks led 18-15.

Knight would take a 33-27 lead at the half, but would extend its lead to double digits at the start of the third quarter.

Hawk Brandi Dawson took the ball down court off a West Ranch turnover, got the three-point play at the other end and Knight went ahead 40-27.

It was an all Hawks show from there on out.

West Ranch would come to within seven after two straight 3-pointers from Ruiz.

However, more West Ranch turnovers and miscues put the ball and the game back into the hands of the Hawks.

"Our girls did a nice job defensively," said Knight head coach Shawn Johnson. "West Ranch shot the ball well, especially Ruiz. They (West Ranch) make you play hard.

"I thought we did a nice job at not overplaying and trying to limit everybody else."

Knight's offense did well at spreading the points across the board.

Turner led the team with 19 points followed by Anttanisha Moton with 14 and Malika Jackson with 12.

Dawson and Kristina Duncan both added nine.

Smith said his team will have to revert back to one of the basic fundamentals in order to be a contender.

"We can not just play good defense, we have to play great defense."

West Ranch got seven points apiece from Michele Arima and Milana Morfino.


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