High school girls basketball: Cardinals in a romp over Santa Rosa, 66-33

Cardinal Newman's Jasmine Henderson goes to the basket as Santa Rosa's Kylie Oden defends during a game held at Santa Rosa High School, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015. (Crista Jeremiason / The Press Democrat)

Cardinal Newman’s Jasmine Henderson goes to the basket as Santa Rosa’s Kylie Oden defends during a game held at Santa Rosa High School, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015. (Crista Jeremiason / The Press Democrat)

By ALLIE COLOSKY

FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

The Cardinal Newman girls basketball team won the battle of the North Bay League titans as it rolled over Santa Rosa to a 66-33 win Wednesday night.

Both teams entered the contest with undefeated 5-0 NBL and 12-5 overall records in a battled at Santa Rosa’s gym for the top spot in the league.

“Our goal was just to work hard,” Cardinal Newman coach Monica Mertle said. “It was very simple.”

Kylie Kiech led the Cardinals with 17 points, five rebounds and two assists.

(See more photos from the game)

Without Panthers’ key player Devin Murray, Cardinal Newman’s Hailey Vice-Neat dominated under the basket, as she snagged 13 rebounds and added 13 points and two assists.

“We have great leadership,” Mertle said of her senior players. “Anyone will step up on any given night and the girls have really been big on playing as a team.”

Kiech and Vice-Neat joined six other Cardinal Newman players who scored in Wednesday night’s win.

“We prepared a lot and really came together as a team,” Kiech said. “It’s always intimidating coming out to their crowd and we just started sharing the ball and playing as a team, and it got our confidence up.”

Maiya Flores had 11 points, while Tiffany Salinas and Megan McConnell added nine and six points, respectively. Tal Webb and Lauren Walker both chipped in five points and Julia Bertolero nailed a free throw to help push Cardinal Newman to another win in its undefeated league season.

“We just got really tired,” Santa Rosa coach Jim Gomes said.

“The Cardinals played very well and they shared the ball really well. They’re a very good team.”

The Panthers were led by senior Kylie Oden, who scored 13 points and grabbed six rebounds. Sophomore Emily Codding had three points, three rebounds, two steals and five blocks for the Panthers.

“Both of those ladies fight until the very end,” Gomes said of Oden and Codding. “They’ve been our horses all year long and they are just great basketball players.”

Natalie Vasquez recorded six points, Sara Howard finished with five points and Bre Ririe had four points for Santa Rosa.

Mireya Lopez also added a bucket, as the Panthers dropped their first league game of the year.

“I knew that my team needed me,” Oden said, “but we all knew that we had to pull together tonight. Without Devin, it’s a difference but it’s not an excuse.”

On Friday, the Panthers visit crosstown rival Montgomery, while the Cardinals travel to Petaluma to take on Casa Grande.