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TOURNAMENT

Royal, Galbreath on Money

January 04, 1998|JIM COLEMAN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

BURBANK — Kristen Galbreath certainly isn't suffering from the sophomore jinx.

The talented second-year forward drove the baseline and converted a layup with three seconds remaining Saturday night to give Royal High a 65-63 victory over Alemany in the championship game of the Bell-Jeff girls' basketball tournament.

Galbreath, who scored 15 points in the second half, finished with 27 and was selected the tournament's most valuable player.

"She is a money player," said Royal Coach Mike Kohl, whose team won its second tournament title this season. "When it gets big game time, that kid plays."

With 46 seconds remaining, it didn't appear Royal (13-1) would need Galbreath's heroics. The Highlanders, who have won 13 consecutive games, had a 63-57 lead when Jessica Sanders sank two free throws.

But Alemany (9-4) came roaring back on consecutive three-point baskets by Kate Beckler and Kelli Kobayashi to knot the score with 12 seconds left.

The Indians had one final chance after Galbreath's basket, but Amy Lowe's 15-foot jumper bounced off the front rim as time expired.

Kobayashi, the only senior in Alemany's starting lineup, put on quite a shooting display in the first half, sinking all seven of her shots and scoring 19 points.

She had all five of the Indians' field goals in the second quarter and finished with 26 points, earning all-tournament honors along with Beckler.

Kobayashi scored 15 of Alemany's 18 points in the second quarter, including three three-point baskets to give Alemany a 32-30 halftime lead while the rest of the Alemany team missed all nine of its shots. She finished with four three-point baskets.

"We knew she was terrific," Kohl said. "I've been very impressed with her since she came to Alemany."

Kobayashi turned ice cold in the third quarter, missing six of seven shots, and Alemany sank just three of 17 in the quarter to fall behind, 47-40.

Alemany rallied in the fourth quarter, when Royal missed its first nine shots. The Indians tied the score, 48-48, on a jump shot by Beckler, and stayed close the rest of the way.

Beckler scored 13 points, but missed 14 of 20 shots. She had been averaging 26 points in the tournament.

"[Kelly] stepped it up tonight and tried to lead us," Alemany Coach Melissa Hearlihy said. "We needed to get the other girls to rally around her a little bit."

Hearlihy was puzzled as to why the Indian defense crumbled in the final 12 seconds, and allowed Galbreath a layup.

"How, with 12 seconds left, did we give up a layup?" Hearlihy asked.

Sanders and Alicia Weber, who each scored 12 points for Royal, were also selected to the all-tournament team. Freshman Karina Siam added 12 points and eight rebounds for Alemany.

Dorsey 53, Bell-Jeff 27--The Guards (5-9) withered under the Dons' pressure defense and the outside shooting of Crystal Vernon in the third-place game.

Vernon scored 28 points, sinking four three-point baskets in the first half, and the Dons (7-7) forced 22 second-half turnovers.

Stacy Cobb scored 16 points for Bell-Jeff.

Glendale 40, St. Monica 37--The Dynamiters (8-6) took control late in the third quarter with a 12-1 run and held on in the consolation final.

Alina Markari scored nine of her 12 points in the second half and Hilary Driffill added 10 points for Glendale.

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