There’s No Ceiling When It Comes to Measuring the Talent of Ramona’s 8th Grade Girls Basketball Team

February 16, 2018
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Vikings coach Brad Smith had his focused and prepared.

CLAREMONT, California, February 16, 2018 — The Ramona 8th grade girls completed their dream undefeated season by pouncing on the El Roble Intermediate School Panthers, 37-20, on Thursday afternoon in Claremont.


Just before the tip-off, Macklemore’s “Can’t Hold Us” reverberated around the El Roble gym’s walls and the Viking girls took the lyrics to heart:


This is the moment

Tonight is the night, we’ll fight till it’s over

So we put our hands up like the ceiling can’t hold us

Like the ceiling can’t hold us


The Vikings were just as good in warm-ups as they were in the game.

For a while however, there was a lid or a ceiling on the baskets for both teams. At the end of the first quarter, the score was 4-4, with the Ana Ekler and Sarah Mesdjian each scoring a deuce for Ramona.


In the second quarter, the Vikings edged out to a 15-12 lead. Ramona’s Chloe Medina had the hot hand, scoring 6 points. Also scoring in the quarter for Ramona were Brooke Bentley (a pair of free throws), Emma Barnett (a free throw) and Katie Keefer (a field goal).


In the third quarter, Ramona’s pedigree started to show up. They looked like a completely different team, flying around the court, diving for loose balls, and switching to a suffocating full-court press for which the Panthers had no answer. The Vikings blew the roof off the place with their up-game tempo.



Jayani Dhruv lines one up.

Medina got things going with a field goal. Then Sophia Hert netted a pair, followed by an Ekler deuce, completing the Vikings’ 6-0 run to push their lead to 21-12. After El Roble scored to close the gap to 21-14, Ekler dropped a baseline 3-point rainmaker to give the Vikings a 24-14 lead. After a Hert layup, and an El Roble free throw, Bryanna Graham knocked down consecutive field goals to give Ramona a commanding 30-15 lead at the end of the third quarter.

Medina ended any thoughts of a Panthers comeback by scoring off a steal to start the fourth period. She also also had a free throw in the quarter for a game-high contribution of 11 points. Bentley also scored again in the final frame.


When the final buzzer sounded, the scoreboard rang out, showing Ramona was triumphant once again and that no gym along the San Gabriel Valley could hold these girls down.


Here’s the record-setting 2018 Ramona roster of champions:


2 Ana Ekler

4 Maddy Tolcher

24 Sophia Hert

5 Sarah Mesdjian

21 Angelina Hert

3 Chloe Medina

12 Katie Keefer

25 Brooke Bentley

13 Bryanna Graham

0 Emma Barnett

43 Hailey Hobson

34 Taylor Workman

15 Jayani Dhruv


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