Nicole Strange scored 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead Fountain Valley to a 52-44 Division I second-round girls' basketball victory over Newhall Hart Saturday at Fountain Valley.
Strange and teammate Jennifer Ludwicki, the team's leading scorer, sparked a third-quarter run that helped to give the Barons their 15th victory in the last 17 games. Leading, 23-22, at halftime, Strange and Ludwicki combined for 12 of the team's 13 third-quarter points. Fountain Valley went on a 13-2 run to start the second half. Ludwicki's basket with 3:22 left gave the Barons their largest lead, 36-25.
But Hart, the Foothill League champion, fought back. Consecutive baskets by Jaime Broneer, and two from LaCresha Clark cut the lead to 36-31 entering the final quarter. Broneer led the Indians with 16 points.
Erin Avila opened the fourth quarter with a three-point basket, followed by two baskets from Strange that helped to put the game away.
"This was one of the best defensive teams we've seen," Barons Coach Carol Strausburg said. "We couldn't get into a good offensive rhythm."
The Barons have a week to prepare for their third-round game against the winner of Glendora-Cerritos next Saturday at a site to be determined.