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December 16, 2003

Brownell-Talbot too tough, too tall for Iowa Deaf

From: Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil, IA - Dec 16, 2003


Iowa School for the Deaf ran into a tough, tall Omaha Brownell-Talbot squad Monday night, and the Bobcats came out on the short end of a 54-36 girls prep basketball decision at the Lied Center.

The first quarter proved to be Iowa Deaf's down fall, as it had trouble with the Raiders' full-court press and could never get into a rhythm on offense, mustering only two points on a pair of free throws by Jada Hart.

"We weren't handling (the press) the way we're supposed to," said Bobcat coach Mike Shannon.

In the second quarter, Iowa Deaf tried to get back in it, getting a basket from Liz Gramblin and five free throws to leave the Bobcats down 19 points at halftime.

Brownell-Talbot was led in both quarters by their tandem of Olivia Pace and Kayla Keifer, standing 6-foot-1 and 5-foot-11, respectively, and guard Julie Smith. Pace and Keifer combined for 18 while Smith chipped in with eight.

The second half saw renewed energy in Iowa Deaf's step, and Katie Romey led the charge.

"In the second half we did a lot better," said Shannon.

Romey put up eight points in the third quarter and was helped by four points from Karen Ruckman as the Bobcats refused to go away.

"You've got to give ISD credit," said Brownell-Talbot coach Jeff Rohrig. "They didn't back down one bit."

That energy carried over into the fourth frame, as Iowa Deaf continued to fight.

Ruckman opened the quarter with a 3-pointer, and connected on another a few minutes later to cut the Raider lead to 16 and give the Bobcats some momentum.

Smith would quickly steal the momentum right back, literally, scoring two quick baskets, the second of which came off a steal and a break-away lay-up.

The Raiders would use that swing to take home the victory.

Romey finished with 12 points and seven rebounds, while Ruckman scored 12 points to go with five steals. Jada Hart finished with four points and nine rebounds.

Shannon was pleased with the contributions he got off the bench, commending the play of Gramblin and Rachel Kill Small.

"They did a nice job," said Shannon.

He also applauded the grit his team showed.

"All five players on the court played hard and never gave up.

"You can't ask for more than that," he said.

Brownell-Talbot was led by Smith, who ended with 16 points and five assists. Pace finished with a double-double, scoring 14 points, pulling down 15 rebounds and three blocks. Keifer ended with 12 points to go with 11 rebounds.

Omaha Brownell-Talbot 16 12 14 12 - 54

Iowa Deaf 2 7 15 12 - 36

Omaha Brownell-Talbot: Shivani Sharma 2, Laura Stroy 4, Centrila McGee 0, Sarah Lyons 0, Caty Adderton 0, Cari Stinn 0, Amanda Andersen 0, Jennifer Jones 0, Olivia Pace 14 (15r, 3b), Sandrah Trinh 0, Kristen Schlott 2, Julie Smith 16 (5a), Ruth Schalch 4, Jessica Holland 0, Kayla Keifer 12 (11r).

Iowa Deaf: Liz Gramblin 4, Karen Ruckman 12 (5s), Jada Hart 4 (9r), Rachel Kill Small 2, Heather Nurse 0, Cassandra Case 0 (7r), Meredith Kasal 1 (4r), Erin Huntrods 0, Katie Romey 12 (7r).

Records: Iowa Deaf (3-3), Omaha Brownell-Talbot (4-0).

©Daily Nonpareil 2003