Fountain rises to the occasion to lift Warde over Ludlowe
The Fairfield Ludlowe girls basketball team entered its game against arch rival Warde hoping to shut down Mustangs' junior center Brielle Lanese.
The Falcons did just that.
Unfortunately for Ludlowe and fortunately for Warde, junior guard Jamera Fountain stole the show with 19 points as the Mustangs knocked off the Falcons for the third straight time, 47-33 on Monday night at Fairfield Warde High School.
"We've wanted Jamera to come in and take over a game like that," Warde head coach Dave Danko said. "We know that she has the ability and she did it at an appropriate time."
Lanese finished the game with six points, but did grab 10 rebounds as the Mustangs won for the fifth time in seven games. Warde guard Kate Kerrigan also added 16 points and six rebounds.
"Our game plan was to stop [Lanese] and we did that," Ludlowe head coach Sarah Huntington said. "I didn't expect Fountain to have the game of her life tonight, and she did."
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"It's good that we can inch closer to a home game and possibly a higher seed in the state tournament," Danko said.
Ludlowe was led by Briana Curran, who finished with a team-high 11 points. The Falcons lost for the second straight game to fall to 5-14 for the year. The Falcons will close their season on Wednesday against St. Joseph.
"We didn't hit our shots," Huntington said. "We rushed through our offense."
Huntington suggested that her young and inexperienced team still may not believe that it can play with a successful team like Warde.
"We respect Warde," Huntington said. "But [Ludlowe] needs to start realizing that you can respect teams and know that they're not better than you."
The Mustangs used a smothering defensive effort to hold the Falcons to just eight points over the second and third quarters. Ludlowe managed just two field goals over the course of those 16 minutes.
"We used a good man-to-man defense," Danko said. "But they had a couple of looks that popped in and out."
In that time, Fountain took over, scoring 14 of her 19. The junior helped push the Warde lead from 12-8 after one to 34-16 at the end of the third quarter.
"I was feeling it tonight," Fountain said. "My biggest supporter is [Danko] he's been pounding me to play like I played tonight, and I thank him for it."
"We wanted them to beat us from the outside, and they beat us from the outside," Huntington said.
The Mustangs' lead peaked at 40-17 in the fourth quarter, but the Falcons did not quit. Curran scored six of her 11 in the fourth quarter, as the Ludlowe closed the game on an 8-0 run.
"I'm hoping that the girls continue to believe in themselves," Huntington said. "I'm never going to stop believing in them."
Warde will close its season at Harding on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.