Short-handed SCAC girls ‘gut out’ all-star win over MEL

By From page B7 | April 18, 2014


Aleseana Whitney of Vanden guards Kellie Williams of Napa during the MEl vs SCAC Senior All-Star Basketball Game in Fairfield, Thursday. (Adam Smith/Daily Republic)

FAIRFIELD — Only six players? No problem.

The Solano County Athletic Conference made do with what it had and it proved to be more than enough in rolling past the Monticello Empire League 59-48 in the MEL-SCAC All-Star game at Ronald D. Thompson Gymnasium, Thursday.

“The girls really just gutted it out,” said Vanden’s Allison Johnson, who coached the SCAC. “No one here’s in basketball shape, for the most part. We had two practices and not everyone made it both days. They gutted it out and everyone had a moment.”

Vanden’s Brooke Gibbins, a late addition to help bolster the roster, had more than a few moments, draining three 3-pointers in the first 11 minutes of the first half, which was 20 minutes long with a running clock.

Gibbins’ first trey provided the game’s first points, and her third put the SCAC ahead to stay at 15-12.

“She got us off to a great start,” Johnson said of Gibbins, who finished with 15 points, 12 coming on 3-pointers.

The girl who did the most damage for the SCAC in the first half and in the game was Bethel’s Azanee Rankins, scoring 10 points in both halves to finish with 20.

“She does so many good things,” Johnson said. “She’s fun to watch.”

So was the game as the SCAC threatened to run away with things, only to have the MEL respond and make things close again.

The SCAC took a 9-3 lead after a Rankins free throw, but the MEL bounced back with nine straight points, taking its only lead of the game at 12-9 on a 3-pointer by Vacaville’s Capriana Christian.

Rankins responded with a trey 16 seconds later to tie it and Gibbins put the SCAC ahead to stay with a bomb from the left corner with 10:42 to go in the first half.

The SCAC led by as many as 10 at 25-15, only to have the MEL claw back with an 8-2 to make it 27-23 at intermission.

The SCAC scored the first four points of the second half, but the MEL responded with a 7-2 run to cut the lead to 33-30.

The comebacks ended there, however. Bethel’s Kiana Desrosiers hit the first of her three second-half 3-pointers to ignite an 18-5 run that gave the SCAC a 51-35 lead with less than 5 minutes remaining and halted any suspense.

Derosiers finished with 12 points, while Vanden’s Aleseana Whitney netted 11. Fairfield’s Ebony Hughes scored one point and Vanden’s Alex Bader made several key steals that helped fuel the offense.

“They played well together,” Johnson said. “No one got down. They were good girls to coach. My husband (assistant coach Jake Johnson) and I had a blast. They got to end their careers with a win.”

Christian led the MEL with 14 points, while Jenessa Boling of Rodriguez had nine, Julia Grimm of Vintage had eight and Ashiana Musolf of Rodriguez had seven.

Armijo’s Tiffini Mestas added four points and Rodriguez’s Daraja Carroll and Vacaville’s Allie Krohn each netted three.

Also seeing action were Armijo’s Jada Williams, Vintage’s Kellie Decius and Napa’s Kellie Williams.

“The main thing was the girls came out and had fun,” said Rodriguez’s Lou Collier, who coached the MEL. “For some it was a last chance to play basketball. They were able to go out with good memories, playing in an all-star game. They can all say they played in an all-star game.”

Reach Paul Farmer at 425-4646, ext. 264, or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pfarmerdr.

Paul Farmer

Paul Farmer is a 1985 graduate of Brigham Young University. The Suisun City resident has been with the Daily Republic Sports Department since 1989 and has served as sports editor since 2007. He and his wife Jackie have four children.

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