The Newport Harbor High girls basketball team has fond memories of
the gym on University's campus.
On the same floor nearly 10 months ago, the Sailors earned their
first CIF Southern Section playoff win in seven years with a 48-46
triumph over the Trojans.
And while the stakes weren't as great for Saturday's pool-play
clash between the same two teams in the 11th annual South Coast
Holiday Classic, the result was one the Sailors will take any time.
Sophomore Ivy Melo tallied a team-high 14 points while sophomore
forward Jessica Bodkin added 10 off the bench to spur a 47-38
victory, a night after Newport defeated Back Bay rival Corona del
Newport concludes pool play against Mission Viejo at 5 p.m.
The Sailors (2-0) appeared fresh throughout the game, diving for
loose balls well into the fourth quarter while guarding their
The strong defense limited the injury-depleted Trojans (1-1) to 15
of 56 from the field (26.7 percent).
"We played more aggressive [Saturday] than we did [against CdM],"
Newport Coach Jen Thompson said. "They played hard and that is nice
University Coach Bob Bernal agreed with Thompson's assessment.
"[The Sailors] outplayed us," he said. "And it doesn't help when
you're [6 for 18 on free throws]."
The Sailors, meanwhile, went 9 of 10 from the free-throw line,
including a 5-for-5 performance in the fourth quarter.
Melo converted all three of her attempts in the quarter in which
she tallied 10 of her 14 points.
The Sailors led, 45-34, with 1 minute, 48 seconds, in the fourth
quarter before the Trojans' full-court press helped create a mild 4-0
run the next 46 seconds.
Sierra Backus' steal on the Tars' ensuing possession resulted in
two free-throw attempts for the Trojans. But both attempts failed and
Melo hit her final two free throws to cap the game's scoring.
"I told [the Sailors] to keep their composure and not to let
[University's] guards pick up their dribble," Thompson said of the
anxious waning minutes.
The Sailors kept their composure, and the lead, for most of the
contest. They went ahead for good, 19-17, on a Bodkin layin with 3:24
remaining in the first half and University sneaked to within one
point just once, at 21-20, the rest of the way.
Bodkin, a sophomore who stands 6-foot, grabbed seven rebounds
while contributing to Newport's 24-4 edge in bench scoring.
Seniors Maaike Trobman and Rachele Mooers each scored six points
while Ciara Lawrence added two. Mooers added two steals and three
Senior Vanessa Miller tallied five points while sophomore Amber
Munnelly grabbed nine rebounds to go with four points for Newport.
Starter Brittany Deyan added three assists and seven rebounds.
Sailor senior April Slater injured her right ankle when she landed
awkwardly while reaching for a loose ball within the game's first two
minutes. She did not return and Thompson suspects a sprain.
Both Miller and Munnelly took turns guarding University sophomore
Casey Gomez, who finished with 10 points, five steals, five rebounds
and five assists.
Backus led University with 11 points, but both her and Gomez were
limited to four and three points, respectively in the second half.
"We rotated people on [Gomez] to tire her out more and make her
work to get to the basket," Thompson said.
The strategy appears to have paid off, as Gomez played all but a
few of the 32 minutes.
The Trojans were without senior starters Kirstin Garey (torn
anterior cruciate ligament), a point guard who earned the Pacific
Coast League's Most Valuable Player award for leading University to
the team title last season, and guard Darin Kleinsmith, who may have
torn a tendon in her shoulder, Bernal said.
South Coast Holiday Classic
Pool play Newport Harbor 47, University 38
Score by Quarters
Uni 10 11 10 7 -- 38
Newport 6 17 12 12 -- 47
Uni -- Usher 0, Hudash 8, Gomez 10, Backus
11, Kauker 5, Edlund 2, Preston 2, Quay 0,
Lee 0. 3-pt. goals -- Gomez 2. Fouled out --
None. Technicals -- None. Newport -- Deyan 0,
Miller 5, Melo 14, Slater 0, Munnelly 4,
Trobman 6, Mooers 6, Bodkin 10, Lawrence 2.
3-pt. goals -- Trobman 2, Melo 1, Miller 1.
Fouled out -- None. Technicals -- None.