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Troy's Bid for a Repeat Falls Short

March 20, 2004|Dan Arritt | Times Staff Writer

SACRAMENTO — Nothing seemed to work Friday for Fullerton Troy in the state Division II championship game.

Not even a change in appearance.

The Warriors shot 25% from the field, 60% from the free-throw line and never made up for a slow start against Concord Carondelet. The end result was a 48-41 loss at Arco Arena, the Warriors' second in their last 47 games.

Troy, which won the Division II state title last season, entered with two key players nursing nagging injuries.

Meghan McGuire, the Warriors' leading scorer, was sidelined with a sprained ankle most of last week and Nicole Hayman wore a mask during the first half after breaking her nose last week in the Southern California Regional final against Santa Ana Mater Dei.

After the Warriors fell behind, 22-16, at the half, Hayman removed her mask to start the third quarter. She made her first shot but then missed her next three. Alli Russi followed with back-to-back three-point baskets to put the Cougars ahead, 34-21, with 2 minutes 28 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Troy (33-2) started a 10-0 run at the end of the third quarter that cut the deficit to three points with 5:25 remaining, but Carondelet scored the next six points to retake control.

"They played hard and we didn't," Troy Coach Kevin Kiernan said.

"They got contributions from a lot of people."

That's something the Warriors didn't enjoy, especially in the first half when McGuire and Sara Yee combined to score all of Troy's points while the rest of the team missed all 14 shots.

Kiernan wasn't the only person questioning Troy's effort.

"It's a state championship game, you expect everyone to play hard," said McGuire, who had 16 points and 11 rebounds to lead Troy but also had a team-high five turnovers.

The Warriors managed to grab 17 offensive rebounds, compared to none for Carondelet (30-3), and out-rebounded the Cougars, 36-23. The Cougars also committed 21 turnovers compared to 19 for Troy, but in the end, it seemed the Cougars wanted the victory more.

Jayne Appel, Carondelet's 6-foot-5 sophomore center, started slowly, scoring only two points in the first quarter, but she was a force down the stretch when the Warriors made their late run.

She finished with team highs of 15 points, nine rebounds, five blocked shots and two assists.

"Whether she scores 15 or 30," Kiernan said, "she created shots for her teammates."

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