01/29/09 — Improving Gators topple Eagles

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Improving Gators topple Eagles

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on January 29, 2009 1:46 PM

SEVEN SPRINGS -- Spring Creek has found its bite.

Just ask Class 1-A Carolina conference rival Rosewood. The Gators' girls basketball team exploded out of the gate and handed the Eagles a 49-30 loss at "The Swamp" on Wednesday night.

"This team has turned a corner, I really believe that," said Spring Creek head coach Amanda Ramfjord. "When I took this job, I looked forward to making this team competitive and being able to play with the top teams in the conference."

Spring Creek earned a 23-3 lead at the end of the opening quarter thanks to stingy defense and transition baskets. At the center of the outburst was reserve guard Mikalia Jordan, who notched four steals and poured in 10 fast-break points.

"Mikalia is great for us every night on the defensive end," said Ramfjord. "She had been starting, but she had been struggling a little bit so we decided to bring her off the bench and it worked out for us."

Rosewood battled through a tough offensive second quarter by driving to the basket and earning multiple trips to the foul line. Shantal Johnson tallied five points in the quarter and kept the Eagles within striking distance.

Ramfjord implored her team to keep up the intensity after the intermission despite a healthy 30-11 halftime lead.

"I wanted this win because it's a conference game and because it's another step in our improvement," said Ramfjord. "We started with fundamentals and we went from there, and now we are playing some pretty good basketball."

Rosewood closed to within 15 points in the fourth quarter, but could never string enough baskets together to attempt a comeback.

Christina Bruton paced the Eagles' effort with 12 points and five rebounds. Johnson added 10 points and pulled down a team-high 11 rebounds. Rosewood (3-13 overall, 1-4 Carolina) visits Ayden-Grifton on Friday.

"We just aren't playing very good basketball right now," said Eagles head coach Karen Williams. "We played three good quarters against Princeton (Tuesday) night and all the sudden we were down 20 points in the fourth. The same thing tonight, one bad quarter and we can't come back."

Richelle Butler paced the Gators with 11 points. Jordan finished with 10 and Melanique Deveaux added nine. Norma Valentin pulled down 11 rebounds to go with her six points.

The Gators (3-8, 3-2) visits Princeton on Friday.

"We have to be ready to play. We won the first meeting, but Princeton is always tough at home," said Ramfjord.