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Prep basketball: Formula falls short

Loss ends run for Indians, coach Koebel

Posted: February 20, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: February 20, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Hart’s Madyson Stately (22) and Kiersten Renfro (12) defend St. Joseph’s Heather Madrigal (24) on Saturday at Hart High School in the second round of the CIF-SS Div. IIIAA playoffs.

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The Hart girls basketball team knew the formula for victory.

Stop St. Joseph of Santa Maria center Alyson Beebe.

That task proved too much Saturday night, as Beebe and the Knights never trailed in a convincing 68-52 victory over the Indians in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division IIIAA playoffs at Hart High.

The loss marked Indians head coach Zach Koebel’s last game. Koebel resigned during the last week of the regular season.
For St. Joseph (22-5), the offensive strategy was simple — get the ball inside to Beebe and let her score.

And score she did, especially in the first half, as she poured in 23 of her game-high 27 points before halftime. As a result, St. Joseph entered the locker room up 45-20 at the break.

“(Our game plan) was to stop (Beebe),” said Hart guard Madyson Stately. “We knew she was going to be a big threat.”
Despite the 25-point deficit, the Indians (15-13) entered the third quarter with a sense of urgency that had been missing early.

Led by Stately, who finshed the game with a team-high 14 points and four steals, the Indians held Beebe scoreless in the third quarter, allowing the Knights to score just six points in the frame.

While their defensive adjustments proved successful, Hart shot just 28 percent in the quarter and trailed 51-31 entering the fourth.

“We tried to come into the game loose,” Koebel said. “But we may have come in too loose. Give the girls a lot of credit. Down 20, our seniors stepped up and tried to make a game of it. If we came into the first half like we did in the second half, it’s a different ball game.”

The Indians kept up the pressure to start the fourth quarter, as Stately cut the lead to 19 points for the first time since the 5:02 mark of the second quarter, with back-to-back 3-point shots.

Hart’s Victoria Lionetti added 10 points and Kiersten Renfro had nine rebounds.

“Hart played hard in the second half,” said St. Joseph head coach Ed Torres. “Thank God for the 25-point lead. We knew they would come at us hard.”

The Indians will now have to look ahead to next season, where in addition to Koebel, they will lose five seniors to graduation off a roster that featured just eight players for most of the season.

“This is the best group of kids I’ve ever coached,” said a visibly shaken Koebel. “What is there to say? This was my last game, the seniors last game. I’m going to miss them.”

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