SHINGLE SPRINGS — The Ponderosa girls basketball team shrugged off Friday’s loss to Oak Ridge in a big way Tuesday, dominating visiting Folsom 66-44. With the victory the Lady Bruins (16-5 overall, 2-2 in league) evened their Delta River League record.
Folsom didn’t have chance against the Bruins Tuesday. Ponderosa set the tempo and took control from the opening whistle. Behind eight points from Olivia Nelson, including two three-pointers, six each from Ashley Beck and Jen Curto, Brooke Sinner’s three points, and suffocating defense, the Bruins led 23-5 after eight minutes of play.
“We’re doing pretty well,” Nelson said about how the team is doing since its top scorer Ali Ryan went down with a knee injury. “At first I was scared about what would happen but we have come together and we’re definitely playing more as a team and spreading the points around. I’m excited now about the rest of the season.”
Nelson led all scorers with 18 points to go with six rebounds while teammate Nikki Johnson put up 17 points and pulled down 10 boards. Jen Curto grabbed 10 rebounds and chipped in eight points, and Jensen Lewis bucketed nine — all from beyond the arc in the second quarter.
Folsom’s offense showed signs of life in the second, managing to score 14 points, but the Bruins answered with 19 on the other end to take a 42-19 lead into the halftime break.
If Folsom had hopes of coming back in the second quarter, Nelson put them to rest with her third three after play resumed. Sinner hit two from the charity stripe and Beck intercepted a Folsom pass and dished to Lewis for two.
Folsom had trouble hanging on to the ball thanks to Ponderosa’s pressure defense. Three back-to-back turnovers within a minute, one forced by Sinner, had the Folsom coach asking his team, “Are you kidding me?” as a wayward pass sailed out of bounds.
Curto scored two more and Beck hit on a jumper to offset a mini Bulldog seven-point rally at the end of the period, as the Bruins outscored Folsom 13-9 in the quarter for a 53-28 advantage.
With Bruin coach Noel O’Donnell substituting freely in the final quarter, Folsom managed 16 points but had no hope of pulling out a victory. Johnson poured in five points before she took a rest, Nelson took the ball end-to-end, stopped and dropped in another three, and then scooped a rebound to Sarah Romero for the final Bruin points of the game.
“We did a good job moving the ball around tonight. The girls have really stepped up in Ali’s absence,” O’Donnell said. “We’ve been focusing on rebounds and did well, and our defense was tenacious. I think we are doing as well as I predicted.
“This is a tough league — we’ve got three tough teams, Oak Ridge, who we did well against last Friday, St. Francis and Pleasant Grove.”