Troy's Gabriella Hanson drives to the basket while being guarded by Rancho Verde's Joi Mitchell and Briah Nelson (5) during the first half of Saturday's championship game of the Ladycat Classic at Brea Olinda High.

Troy misses free throws, but captures Ladycat title


BREA - Troy's girls basketball team defeated Rancho Verde of Moreno Valley, 49-43, in the championship of the Ladycat Classic Saturday at Brea Olinda High School.

But Warriors coach Roger Anderson would be the first to admit his team made the task at hand a lot harder than it should have been.

With No. 2 Troy (3-0) leading 47-40 and time running out, the Mustangs (3-1) were forced to foul in order to stop the clock and keep their hopes alive.

But the Warriors missed nine consecutive free throws in the final two minutes.

Luckily for Troy, however, the Mustangs couldn’t convert shots off Troy’s misses.

The Mustangs got to within four and had possession with about 10 seconds left, but Troy freshman Barbara Sitanggan came up with a steal and was fouled driving to the basket.

Sitanggan sank two free throws with 2.3 seconds left – ending the Warriors' string of nine consecutive misses - to put the game away.

"It’s been an Achilles (heel) for us,” Anderson said of the poor free throw shooting. “It’s something we need to work on.”

The Warriors held a slim lead for most of the first half, but the Mustangs went on a run late in the second quarter to take a 23-21 halftime lead.

Oregon State-bound Gabriella Hanson, who had spent the entire second quarter on the bench with foul trouble, came out hot in the third.

Hanson, who was named game MVP, scored six of her seven points in the quarter, grabbed two of her nine rebounds and had an assist to help the Warriors take a 40-35 lead into the fourth.

“Gabby is always going to have an impact,” Anderson said.

Alecia Dimas scored nine points and had 11 rebounds and Stanford-bound Briana Roberson scored a team-high 11.

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