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
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.
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