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Hart wins an up-and-down opener

The Indians play a close game, despite Palmdale committing 38 turnovers

Posted: December 2, 2009 10:26 p.m.
Updated: December 3, 2009 4:30 a.m.

Hart's Brittany Costanzo (32) and Amanda McKee (25) double team Palmdale's Tierra Gilmore Wednesday night at Valencia High School during the Valencia High-Five Classic.

Despite holding a commanding lead midway through the third quarter, Hart girls basketball found itself scrambling for a season-opening victory.

The Indians saw their 15-point third-quarter advantage shrink to two before holding off Palmdale 48-39 on Wednesday night at the High Five Classic at Valencia High School.

Up 38-36, four quick points by Hart senior forward Brittany Costanzo sparked a 10-3 run to close out the game.

“Our focus this year is on our effort, what our effort is and how we channel it,” said Hart head coach Zach Koebel. “We got out and we pressured them a little bit. I think (Palmdale) got a little rattled.”

Costanzo finished with nine points, while junior forward Christina Falcone led the Indians (1-0) with 14 points. Hart senior forward Amanda McKee and junior gua rd Mariah Glasshoff had eight points and sophomore guard Melissa Boscarino had six.

The Indians’ late run looked very similar to the first two quarters of the game, during which Hart pressed the Falcons and utilized its midcourt trap to build a 26-15 halftime lead.

Palmdale (0-1), which lost 5-foot-10-inch senior post Demi Washington to a hyperextended left knee early in the game, turned the ball over 38 times.

With Washington out, junior forward Krista Robinson took over and was a major catalyst in the Falcons’ comeback, scoring 14 of her 21 points in the second half before fouling out with five minutes to play in the fourth quarter.

“When she fouled out, basically the game was over,” said Palmdale head coach George Corisis. “If she would have stayed in the game, as many times as we turned the ball over, they probably would have beaten us by two or one.”

Hart took a 13-7 lead after the first quarter as both teams searched for a rhythm.

Glasshoff scored all eight of her points, including back-to-back 3-pointers, in the second quarter and it appeared that the Indians were poised to break the game open going into halftime.

But that’s when Robinson took over, and aided by junior center Hope Smith, who finished with seven points, Palmdale cut the lead to 36-30 at the end of three.

McKee, Boscarino and junior guard Madison Statley applied pressure to the Falcons’ backcourt that helped Hart seal the victory and left Koebel pleased with his team’s performance.

“I’m excited,” he said. “I’m super excited. I think we are going to be a really fun team.”



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