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Friday, May 6, 2016

Verona blitzes past Indians into the district final

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Focus, finish. Verona Wildcats' Wesley Kissinger gets fouled on his way to the basket during Tuesday night's semi-final victory over Lutie. The Wildcats will face Hurley for the championship on Thursday night. [Times Photo by Melissa Leech]
The Verona Wildcats used a 14-3 run to start the third quarter to defeat Lutie 67-35 Tuesday night in the Class 1, District 4 semi-final in Rogersville.

The top-seeded Wildcats will face third-seeded Hurley in the championship on Thursday. The Tigers upset second-seeded Chadwick Cardinals 74-52 in the other semi-final.

"We came out and established ourselves early," said Verona head coach Brad Stewart. "We knew we had to hit our shots and secure the boards, and we did that tonight."

Mid-air adjustment. Cody Ernsberger gets to the basket during Tuesday night's district tournament victory over Lutie. [Times Photo by Melissa Leech]
The Wildcats jumped out to a 17-10 lead after one quarter of play and led 32-16 at halftime.

The Indians' shooters who combined for 12 3-pointers in Saturday's quarterfinal victory managed to connect on only three of their attempts against a stingy Verona defense.

"We pressured the ball well all night," said Stewart. "We were able to bring some guys off our bench who helped us along and that is always encouraging."

Tomas Estrada opened the second half with an offensive rebound and putback on Verona's first possession. Thomas Ritter responded with a trey for the Indians. The Wildcats then ripped off 12 straight points to wipe out any notion of a Lutie comeback.

Verona took a 55-27 lead into the fourth period.

Scoring for Lutie were: Josh Daffron, 9; Dylan Burks, Steven Andrews and Chancey Ayers, 6 each; Thomas Ritter and Jacob Christenson, 3 apiece; and Corey Christenson and Steven Andrews, 2 each.

Scoring for Verona were: Wesley Kissinger, 20; Cody Ernsberger, 14; Nick Washam, 13; Estrada and Dalton Miller, 6 each; Larry Patterson and Ryan Stanley, 4 apiece; and Seth Losack, 2.

The championship game will be a rematch for Hurley and Verona. The Wildcats defeated the Tigers 57-50 on Jan. 12. Last season, it was Hurley who defeated Verona twice, once in the regular season and once in the district semi-final. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

Verona girls

There was no magical solution to Verona's come-from-behind 52-43 victory over Bakersfield Monday night in the Class 1, District 4 semi-final Monday night.

"We just hit our shots in the second half," said Verona coach Ryan Yates. "We struggled in the first half and dug ourselves into a hole. Credit the girls for responding and getting the victory."

The game was tied 10-10 after one quarter of play. Bakersfield outscored the Lady Wildcats 11 to 4 in the second period to lead 21-14 at halftime.

Verona regained the momentum in the third period with a 19-6 run to take a 33-28 lead into the final quarter.

Scoring for Verona were: Tristan Carrasquillo, 30 points; Taylor Pinkly, 11; Shelby Barsotti, 7; and Jessica Youngberg and Rachael Welter, 2 each.

Carrasquillo is three points shy of 2,000 career points. J.J. Tauai holds the all-time career scoring record with 2,036 points at Verona. Carrasquillo has average 35 points per game in district play.

The Lady Wildcats will face Chadwick in the championship on Thursday. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.

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