Rams top Bobcats

Published: Sunday, January 16, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 16, 2005 at 2:37 a.m.
When the season began, Eastside girls basketball coach Kent Johnson spoke optimistically about the quality of his depth, saying his 11-person rotation would help supplement what he called his "three-headed monster" of all-state players - senior guard Ashley McDonald, junior guard Katrice Mulberry and junior center/forward Latoya Williams.
Apparently, to the betterment of the Rams, Sharnae Ivery won't be satisfied until Johnson declares the monster has grown a fourth head.
And Saturday night, with Eastside's undefeated record on the line in the gym of arguably the area's second best team, Ivery delivered her argument, scoring 14 points (including three dagger-sticking threes in the second half) and grabbing nine rebounds, as the Rams topped Buchholz, 55-45.
"She's a very good player who can line up at any position on the floor," Johnson said of Ivery, a sophomore who averaged more than 20 points per game on last year's unbeaten junior varsity. "She can get her points inside or out. She's very valuable to us."
While Ivery led the way for Eastside (17-0 and ranked second in Class 4A), she wasn't alone, as McDonald was steady all game, producing 15 points, five assists and four steals. For her part, Williams started slowly, finishing with nine points, nine rebounds and two blocks, with everything but one of the blocks coming in the second half. Mulberry, meanwhile, scored all eight of her points in the first half but added three steals and three rebounds.
But Bobcats coach Bryan Harris, while praising the Rams' offense, said it was Eastside's packed in 2-2-1 press that gave Buchholz (13-4, ranked seventh in 6A) fits.
And even with the loss, Harris said he was proud of how his team responded, turning a 15-point deficit into a five-point game a little past midway through the fourth quarter before the Rams closed the contest on a 10-5 run.
"I know every time we get down, we're going to come back," said Harris, whose team was led by junior guard Jennifer Hardy, whose 17 points put her over 1,000 for her career. "When we fall behind, the fans may lose a little steam, but the players and coaches are going to keep fighting like we did (against Eastside).
"We're going to battle, scrap and compete until the end, and who knows, a couple turnovers here or there and it might have been a different story."

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