Ponderosa hones ‘Craft’ in Vista victory

By From page A8 | December 12, 2012

craft 1212

DANIELLE CRAFT drives baseline for this shot in Monday's win. Photo courtesy of Charles Beck

SHINGLE SPRINGS — Freshman Danielle Craft scored 16 of her game-high 21 points in the second quarter and Sophia George all 12 of hers after halftime as host Ponderosa pulled away from Vista del Lago for a 70-43 nonleague victory Monday night.

The Lady Bruins turned a nine-point halftime lead into a runaway in the second half — limiting the visitors to one shot as George and Maddie Clayton controlled the boards. Offensively, Ponderosa sank seven three-pointers: four by Craft and three, first-quarter ones by Morgan Martinenko that jump-started the offense.

“This is how I know we can play and what I was looking for,” Bruin coach Noel O’Donnell said. “We dropped some games over the weekend (we shouldn’t have) so we needed this win. Danielle (Craft) was on fire tonight — she can pass, rebound, shoot short and shoot it long.”

Craft’s second-quarter scoring binge nearly shot the Eagles out of Monday’s game. To its credit, Vista survived and was within 35-31 late in the half before Brooke Sinner’s free throw, two from Craft and her midcourt inbound pass with four seconds left to Sinner on a defensive breakdown sent Ponderosa to the locker room up 40-31.

“I felt really good in that quarter, was feeling it and the game just flowed my way,” Craft said. “I thought we played really well as a team both offensively and defensively.

Play stalled in the third quarter as neither team found its rhythm. Free throw shooting took center stage with neither having particularly good results. The Bruins’ scoring came from Sinner who sank four freebies, George, with several jumpers and Craft who drained a wing three with seconds to play.

Ponderosa (6-4) dominated the fourth in outscoring Vista 19-5. George scored eight points and Danielle Becker added six.

The Bruin’s main obstacle standing in the way of victory Monday was Eagle post Rebecca Stephens, a 6-foot, 2-inch senior. Stephens made her presence known from the tip-off with a game-opening 3-point play  and soft jumper in the lane as Vista bolted out to a 7-2 advantage.

Sinner’s steal and feed to Ashley Beck got Ponderosa going and Beck’s banker preceded Martinenko’s run of three treys from outside. The Bruins led 17-15 after Beck’s pull-up jumper closed the quarter.

Sparked by the hustle of Jessica Tempelton and Craft’s scoring, Ponderosa kept the lead through the next quarter and its inside play eventually neutralized Stephens.

“We talked about spreading her (Stephens) and playing strong defense — not letting her get into the key,” George said. “We wanted to come out strong in the second half, pick up our intensity, move the ball around and get a good shot.”

Martinenko finished with nine points, Sinner added seven, Beck, six, Clayton chipped in three points and Tempelton, two.

The Bruins’ JV won their game 52-38.

Ponderosa was back in action last night at Cordova.


Jerry Heinzer

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