Simon lifts Lady Tigers to big win at Woodcreek

Chanco scores 22 for Woodcreek
By: Kurt Johnson, senior sports editor
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With tensions high down the stretch, points were at a premium in the fourth quarter Wednesday night as the Roseville High School girls basketball team held off Woodcreek 52-49 in a tremendous Sierra Foothill League contest. Roseville’s Katie Simon was the one constant all night long, beginning with a seven-point opening period as the Lady Tigers took a 16-14 lead after one stanza. The 6-foot-1 junior forward took the game over in the third when she scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds, four of them at the offensive end. Most impressive about Simon is her ability to dominate in the paint and then step outside the 3-point line and drop shots with pinpoint accuracy. “Katie Simon was amazing for us tonight,” Roseville coach Ron Volk said. “She has the ability to adjust her game inside or outside depending on what is available to her that night.” “The tough thing about Simon is that, in addition to getting so many loose balls, a lot of her damage comes from the perimeter,” Woodcreek coach Ray Beck said. “A lot of that had to do with our lack of communication on defense.” Woodcreek sophomore guard Joleen Chanco was the story of the second quarter, with five steals and eight points in the period. At one point, Chanco scored three consecutive baskets off of steals in the full court pressure defense. The Chanco heroics provided the energy for the Lady Timberwolves to take a 31-26 halftime lead, and gave Woodcreek a lift on a night when junior forward Jennifer Judge was battling illness. Chanco scored 22 points total in the game to lead the Timberwolves, and also grabbed five rebounds to go with eight steals. The 3-point shooting of Simon and senior point guard Alicia Mervau played in a bit role in the Lady Tigers’ recovery from that rough second period. In addition to Simon’s 14 points in the third, Mervau added eight as the duo scored 22 in a 24-point stanza for Roseville, which allowed the Tigers to take a 50-46 advantage into the final eight minutes. “The thing I am happiest with is the way we responded to our bad stretch in the second quarter,” Volk said. “After giving up a six-point lead with a series of turnovers, we hung tough and fought back. I think tonight was a game that would go to whichever team wanted it more, and I think we wanted it more.” The final quarter was a battle of defenses, as not many points were scored. Roseville scored a pair early on a Simon bucket, but did not score for the rest of the game, but Woodcreek was held scoreless until the 1:51 mark of the period, when Judge drained a long 3-pointer. The trey was the final tally of the contest. During a frantic finish, the Lady Timberwolves used their pressure defense to create a number of final scoring chances, but they were unable to convert. The final chance came on a turnover at the offensive end with just one second to play, but Woodcreek fumbled the in-bounds pass and was unable to get up a shot. “This is the hardest working group of young ladies I have ever worked with,” Volk said about his team. “This was a typical night in the Sierra Foothill League, if you do not play well, you will lose.” Simon scored a total of 25 points and ripped down 14 boards in the game, and she also blocked three shots and nabbed a pair of steals. Mervau complemented Simon nicely with a dozen points and three assists, and senior center Breanna Warnock scored eight. In support of Chanco’s big night, Judge fought her way to eight points and pulled down six rebounds for Woodcreek, while point guard Casie Tingley scored all six of her points in the opening period. Senior forward Chelsea Green led the Timberwolves on the glass with seven rebounds. Woodcreek (2-2 in the SFL, 13-4 overall) looks to regroup as it heads to Grass Valley for a Friday night date with Nevada Union (2-2, 8-11). “We’ll find out what we learned from tonight when we see how we respond on Friday,” Beck said. “We need to avoid any lingering effects.” Roseville (2-3, 10-9) visits Oakmont (0-4, 7-11) Friday night as the Tigers look to build on this performance.