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Maybe the last dance

Ashlee Trebilcock’s college career ended short of a title in the big dance

Posted: April 20, 2009 10:46 p.m.
Updated: April 20, 2009 10:41 p.m.
 
In four years, Ashlee Trebilcock made three trips to a CIF-Southern Section championship game. She was lauded as one of the greatest female basketball players to ever come out of the Santa Clarita Valley.

But the pinnacle of her basketball career, a career that has reached an interesting crossroads, may have happened late last month.

The local product soon found herself standing on the court in Haas Pavilion in Berkeley in on one of the biggest stages in women’s college basketball — the NCAA Tournament.

“It was a great experience,” she says. “It was a lot of fun because we struggled the last couple of games, so to go to the Sweet 16 and see my family was a great experience. ... You just try to soak it all in. Unfortunately, we didn’t play great and we didn’t advance.”

In her final collegiate game, Trebilcock came off the bench, registering 13 minutes, a steal and an assist as Ohio State, the Berkeley Region’s No. 3 seed, fell 84-66 to Stanford March 28.

The Cardinal, led by junior Jayne Appel would go on to face the University of Connecticut for the national title.

“The Sweet 16 game felt a little bit more intense, more spotlight,” Trebilcock says. “I don’t know if it was also because it was (televised) across the country. Out here it just felt like another game just because we were at home.”

Leading up to their matchup with Stanford, the Buckeyes had played two games in Columbus, Ohio at Nationwide Arena, beating Sacred Heart in the first round and Mississippi State in the second.

The games were virtually in Ohio State’s backyard.

That meant the team was able to pull an energetic home crowd.

“We had great fan support,” she says. “We’ve had great fan support ever since I’ve been here. They really pumped us up.”

Trebilcock’s senior NCAA Tournament experience started out on March 21 with a 77-63 win over Sacred Heart.

“We were just so excited going into it because this was what you work all year for,” she says. “Once we got in the game, we just took care of business that day.”

In 22 minutes, the senior shot 5-for-7 from the field with a 3-pointer and 2-for-2 from the free-throw line, good for 13 points. She also added three rebounds and a steal.

The team had little time to celebrate, and two days later, it was back to business.

“They were a very good 11-seed,” Trebilcock recalls. “I think it was pretty low scoring because they were so athletic, so quick, and they were just a good basketball team. It was just another fun game to go down to the wire.”

The Buckeyes beat the Bulldogs 64-58.

Mississippi State had actually led 58-54 with 6:43 remaining in regulation.

After a 10-0 run to end the game, Ohio State prepared to pack its bags for the West Coast, and the impending conclusion to Trebilcock’s college career.

On the season, the versatile guard averaged 7.1 points per game off 45.1 percent shooting from the field to go along with two rebounds per game and 1.3 assists.

She started 22 games out of 34, averaging 22.3 minutes per contest.

Trebilcock says one they most exciting moments of the team’s season came by way of Ohio State’s 67-66 win over Purdue in the Big Ten Tournament championship game.

All-American teammate Jantel Lavender hit two free throws with 6.2 second remaining to give the Buckeyes the conference title.

With the tournament championship, OSU capped off an incredible regular season, in which the team finished as the regular season champs with a 29-6 overall record and 15-3 Big Ten record.

“That whole thing was amazing,” she says. “Beating Purdue in that championship game by one was crazy. Purdue, even if they don’t win regular season, they do really well in the Big Ten tourney.”

In the game, Trebilcock scored eight points with three rebounds, and a steal.

Looking back on her career thus far, Trebilcock can boast high achievement, having played at some of the highest levels in college athletics.

But what lies next for her?

Even she doesn’t know.

“I don’t have any idea what is next for me,” Trebilcock says. “I might end up staying out here for a little while. It is possible I could go overseas for a while. Right now I am just letting my body rest. I might have to just get a job. ... Basketball is not going to go away if I don’t want it to.”

pputignano@the-signal.com

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