Dayton girls clinch playoff berth
By Dave Price
Appeal News Service
DAYTON - Determination and free throws told the tale Saturday afternoon when the Dayton and North Tahoe girls basketball teams collided with a playoff berth on the line.
The ball didn't fall for North Tahoe. It did for Dayton, as the Dust Devils rallied in the fourth quarter for a 36-30 Northern 3A victory at home that clinched sixth-place and a trip to the regional tournament in two weeks.
Dayton (5-8 league, 5-11 overall) shot 12-for-17 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter to overcome a 22-19 deficit against North Tahoe (3-11, 7-17). The Dust Devils, coming off a 34-24 win against Incline on Friday night, now have a 2-1/2 game lead and tie-breaker advantage over the Lakers in the race for the sixth and final playoff position.
"The fourth quarter saved us," said Dayton coach Shari Andreasen, who only had eight players suited up due to various injuries and illnesses. "They just decided in the fourth quarter, 'We're taking this game and we're going to win.' They were determined."
Senior Stephanie Greer knocked down a 3-pointer to tie it and ignite a 17-8 run through the fourth quarter. Brittany Hill converted three straight free throws down the stretch to provide another key.
On the other hand, the Lakers were only able to convert 4 of 14 free throws during those final eight minutes.
"My hat's off to Dayton," North Tahoe coach Scott Conn said. "That game right there decided sixth place. Our kids knew it; their kids knew it. We had 'em, we couldn't close it and they did."
Freshman guard Ariella Ruybal led all scorers with 13 points, including a pair of 3-pointers for Dayton. Greer finished with nine points, including a pair of 3-pointers, and Hill scored five.
Sophomore Brit Johnson led North Tahoe with eight points, while Kelly Hester added five.
"I thought we played solid defense throughout," Andreasen said. "I thought our zone flustered them."
Even though zone defenses have caused problems in the past, Conn felt his Lakers worked the ball well against Dayton this time.
"We had our opportunities," the North Tahoe coach said. "We had shots. We were squaring up and getting good shots. The ball just wouldn't fall for us."
Dayton 34, Incline 24
Dayton's girls held Incline to single digit scoring in every quarter, and only allowed three points in the fourth, en route to their Senior Night win.
Hill scored 13 points, including a pair of 3-pointers in the second quarter, to lead the Dust Devils offensively. Seniors Rebecca Monzello and Greer contributed six points each.
Kristi Raihall scored seven points to lead Incline (1-12, 2-14).
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