Jummel Hidrosollo / Special to the Home News
Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2009 | 2 a.m.
Just when the Bonanza girls' basketball team was beginning to look like a contender for the 4A state title, Bishop Gorman gave it a hard look at reality.
That is, the Gaels are the three-time defending state champs, and they don't intend to give up that distinction any time soon.
The two teams met Tuesday in one of the most anticipated contests of the season as Bonanza entered with a 16-1 record and Gorman at 14-3. But in the end, it was just another blowout victory for the Gaels, who won 76-50.
"Bonanza has always been athletic, well-coached and have always come out and played hard against us, so we had to match that intensity level and go beyond it," Gorman coach Sheryl Krmpotich said. "Tonight, I thought we did that."
Of Gorman's initial 18 games of the season, nine have been against teams from Nevada. And of the nine times the Gaels have faced a team from the Silver State, they've won by an average of 42 points. Still, beating a 16-1 team on the road is always a confidence booster.
"Bonanza is probably one of the best teams in our division, but we handled them pretty well tonight," Gorman guard Aaryn Ellenberg said. "We want to come out and do well every time we play, and if we win by a large margin, I think it helps (our confidence)."
Bonanza stuck with the defending champs through the first two quarters, ending the half on a 9-4 run to take a 32-25 deficit into the break. But Gorman went on 12-2 run to begin the third quarter, taking a 44-27 advantage.
"That was important because the first five minutes of the second half are always crucial," Gorman forward Yahindra Edwards said. "To get on them in the beginning, it took them out of their game, so in the fourth quarter it was pretty much our show."
Bonanza coach Dean Bosch said he was happy his team competed in the first half, but Gorman's defense in the second half was too much for the Bengals to contend with.
"We think we're a pretty fair team, and for them to come to our house for a game that any athlete would love to be a part of and beat us by 26 points. That shows us how far we have yet to go," Bosch said. "They're just too good and were too much for us tonight."
Center Aimee Doyle led Bonanza with 13 points, while Daytril Beals scored 12.
Meanwhile, center Danielle Diamant led the Gaels with 20 points, while Ellenberg chipped in 17. Forward Chelsie Pitt and Edwards scored 12 and 11 respectively.
Krmpotich said she was happy to see four of her players score in double figures.
"The great thing about this team is they share the basketball very well and that's something we will continue to do," Krmpotich said. "It's really a good sign when we come out and we're not a one-dimensional team."
Christopher Drexel can be reached at 990-8929 or [email protected].