R-S girls get revenge on Gilbert

Joe Randleman Staff Writer
Roland-Story’s Jordyn Ramus looks to move the ball around as Gilbert’s Nessa Johnson comes up to defend her during a 53-40 victory by the No. 11 (Class 3A) Norse over the No. 11 team in 4A Friday at Gilbert. Photo by Kevin Patterson/for the herald

GILBERT — Getting off to a great start was pivotal for the Roland-Story girls’ basketball team in a big 53-40 revenge win over Gilbert Friday at Gilbert.

The Norse, ranked No. 11 in Class 3A, took down the No. 11 team in 4A in impressive fashion after losing to the Tigers by 23 points in December.

“Huge confidence booster for us,” Roland-Story head girls’ basketball coach Justin Morton said.

Roland-Story jumped out to a 15-4 lead in the first quarter on its way to claiming a 24-16 lead at the half. Freshman Reagan Barkema led the charge, scoring 12 of her 16 points in the first half.

“It was important that we got off to a good start,” Morton said. “Reagan has been really strong for us offensively lately, so we wanted to get her off to a quick start.”

Barkema ended up 6 of 10 from the field and 3 of 5 from 3-point range. She also finished the night with four steals and a block.

The Norse continued their hot play in the third quarter. They built their lead to 15 points by the end of the period.

Morton’s daughter Madeline was the hot hand for Roland-Story in the second half. Madeline scored 16 of her game-high 21 points over the final two quarters.

“Maddie really shot with a lot of confidence in the second half,” Morton said. “She’s been so close on her shots all season. I was hoping things would come together for her one of these nights.”

Madeline made 6 of 8 field goals, 4 of 5 3-pointers and all five of her free-throw attempts. She also finished the game with five rebounds and one block.

Roland-Story coasted home in the fourth quarter to finish off its biggest win of the season and improve to 12-4 overall and 8-2 in the HOIC.

“Overall, great team win for the Norsemen,” Morton said. “We’re really doing a lot of great things right now and playing with a lot of confidence with regionals just around the corner.”

The Norse shot at an excellent 53-percent clip from the field as a team and made 9 of 17 3-pointers. Roland-Story was only 9 of 34 from the field and 4 of 18 from 3-point range in its first meeting with the Tigers.

According to Morton, Roland-Story took strong care of the ball and that led to easy baskets.

“We did a much better job this time around of handling their full-court pressure,” Morton said. “(We) were able to score some critical points off their press.”

On defense, Roland-Story limited Gilbert to 1 of 14 shooting from 3-point range. The Norse also came up with 10 steals as a team.

“Our focus defensively was to make Ava Hawthorne have to work really, really hard to get open looks,” Morton said. “Kylie Tjernagel and Reece Johnson did a great job taking turns face-guarding Ava the entire game. Not letting Ava get any easy touches allowed us to get them out of rhythm on offense and forced some big turnovers. Lastly, we really limited their transition points. I’m not sure they had a fastbreak point the entire night.”

Hawthorne finished with 13 points after scoring 20 points on 8 of 10 shooting in the first meeting.

Tjernagel added six points and four assists on offense. Juliann Clark chipped in four points, five assists and two steals for Roland-Story.

Gilbert fell to 11-5 overall and 8-2 in the conference with the loss. Thea Rotto also scored 13 points for the Tigers and she added nine rebounds and two blocks.

Roland-Story 53, Gilbert 40

RS 15 9 17 12 - 53

G 4 12 10 14 - 40

Roland-Story (53) - Jordyn Ramus 1-3 0-0 3, Juliann Clark 1-1 2-2 4, Amy Rathmacher 0-2 0-1 0, Madeline Morton 6-8 5-5 21, Emily Berggren 0-0 0-0 0, Reece Johnson 0-0 1-2 1, Susie Weaver 0-1 0-0 0, Reagan Barkema 6-10 1-2 16, MaKayla Geise 1-1 0-2 2, Kylie Tjernagel 2-6 1-2 6. Totals: 17-32 10-16 53. 3-point field goals (9): Morton 4, Barkema 3, Ramus, Tjernagel. Rebounds (18): Morton 5. Assists (13): Clark 5. Steals (10): Barkema 4. Blocks (2): Morton, Barkema. Fouls: 14.

Gilbert (40) - Ava Hawthorne 5-10 2-3 13, Skylar Hillmann 0-0 0-0 0, Hannah Thatcher 2-3 0-0 4, Nessa Johnson 1-4 0-0 2, Ellie Bulman 0-1 0-0 0, Emma Kruse 0-1 0-0 0, Emma Bulman 1-9 2-2 4, Katie Currans 1-3 0-0 2, Thea Rotto 5-10 3-6 13, Claire Roske 0-1 0-0 0, Jordyn Milhous 1-4 0-0 2. Totals: 16-46 40. 3-point field goals (1): Hawthorne. Rebounds (27): Rotto 9. Assists (12): Hawthorne 3, Em. Bulman 3, Currans 3. Steals (10): Em. Bulman 5. Blocks (5): Hawthorne 2, Rotto 2. Fouls: 15.