By Matt Nestor
Hampshire and Lutheran seemed to be on a collision course during the 32nd Annual Harlem Holiday Tournament.
Both went undefeated in pool play, dominating all three opponents to go 3-0 in their pool. Sycamore, however, also went undefeated in pool play.
Playing in the same pool as Lutheran, the two teams did not meet. The tiebreaker for these situations is the team that allowed the fewest points goes on to the title game.
For Lutheran, who likes to play a fast-paced game, the tiebreaker was unkind. Despite beating their three pool opponents by an average margin of 23 points, Sycamore allowed 11 fewer points and were able to make it to the championship game.
Lutheran coach Joni Carlson said she knew the tiebreaker rules and that it could come down to that. But she did not want to change their game plan or anything that was working to try to make the title game.
That worked to Sycamore’s advantage. Sycamore applies a slower pace to the game and used good defense to play their way into the title matchup with Hampshire.
Once there, however, the Spartans were thoroughly dominated by Hampshire. The Whip-Purs pressed their way to a dominant performance in the championship game.
Hampshire only allowed one basket in each of the first two quarters, racing out to a 28-4 halftime advantage. They would go on to collect the title with a 66-20 win.
Alex Dumoulin of Hampshire was named the tournament MVP. She scored 11 points in the championship game. Jessica Van Dorin hit seven 3-pointers and scored 21 points in the title game win.
For Lutheran, it was not all bad news. They did defeat Christian Life 69-26 to take third place in the tournament and to stay undefeated for the season.
Lutheran guard Laura Rushing scored a game-high 17 points on her way to a spot on the all-tournament team.
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From the Dec. 23-29, 2009 issue