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High School Basketball:
Highland Sluggish, Sacred Heart Takes Full Advantage

Sunday, February 9, 2003

By Crystal Parker
SJSports Staff Writer

Basketball is another one of those sports where each game you enter on the court should be like the first. The level of your play should be as high as if it was on opening day. But can a team play at that level through out the entire season? It's a feat only few can accomplish. So what happens when both the Lady Lions from Sacred Heart and the talents of the girl's basketball team from Highland High School get together for the Shootout at the Shore at Mainland Regional? One team seems to find a weakness and do their best to exploit it. Sacred Heart did exactly that as they held on for the 41-38 victory.

Head coach Steve DiPatri did his homework, even though it's a known fact that to stop Highland you must contain Lisa Steele and Danielle Hemerka. DiPatri started his defense with an impressive and aggressive man-to-man rotation that seemed to be effective. It was nothing new to Steele, but what was different was her shots were not falling. Sacred Heart (15-1) did well on defense and it was left up to the offense to do their part.

The Lions jumped out to 12-4 first quarter lead that expanded to double digits at the beginning of the second. Adrienne Rochetti and Ikea Witt worked together to open up the lead for Sacred Heart. Highland (15-2) would begin to find a way to chip into the lead behind center Danielle Hemerka. Once the first half was completed, the Lions would hold a 24-17 advantage. That lead would even shrink down to two points early in the third quarter as Highland made things very interesting for the final eight minutes.

Sacred Heart seemed to be in cruise mode when Highland began to make their final run. The Lady Lions again watched their double digit lead dwindle down to just a three point with just seconds remaining. That was just enough time for Steele to make an attempt at a three points shot that rimmed out giving Sacred Heart the win. Adrienne Rochetti finished with a game high 18 points for the Lady Lions. Highland was led by Danielle Hemerka who had a team high 11 points.

Photos by Mark Fletcher

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