By: Andrew Gavin (@GBGavin)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com)
- Green Bay's experience was on display on Sunday afternoon as the Phoenix
defeated Loyola 54-38 for its third-straight Horizon League tournament title.
However, the play of an inexperienced junior on both ends of the floor was a
major factor in Green Bay cutting down the nets at the Kress Center.
While seniors Adrian
Ritchie (DePere, Wis.) and Sarah
Eichler (Grafton, Wis.) used their experience (260 combined games in
Phoenix jerseys) to total 31 points, 16 rebounds and six assists, the efforts
of Breannah Ranger (Skokie, Ill.)
may have been just as pivotal.
Ranger joined Eichler (16) and Ritchie (15) as the third
Phoenix player in double figures, and on a day when Green Bay's shots were not falling
from the perimeter (5-28 3FGAs), the junior's 12 points in the paint in 25
minutes were crucial.
After entering the season with only 79 career points and
one double-figure scoring game, Ranger has scored 10 or more points 11 times as
a junior and is averaging 7.5 points per game.
On the defensive end, Ranger battled with First Team
All-Horizon League post player Simone Law. Loyola's top player had 12 points
and 14 rebounds but shot just 4-of-12 from the field. Ranger grabbed six
rebounds, all on the defensive end of the floor, and had two steals.
In the semifinals, Ranger and her teammates also limited Detroit's
First Team All-Horizon League post player, Shareta Brown. The Titan's leading
scorer was held to 1-of-5 shooting and only nine points, 11 below of her
It was the second-straight season that an inexperienced
Phoenix player has shined in the championship game. In the 2012 title bout
against Detroit, then freshman Megan
Lukan (Barrie, Ontario) scored 20 points as Green Bay won 66-53.
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