Lady Golden Bears pull away late to defeat Blue Dons

NEW MANCHESTER – Oak Glen got a big time game from Vanessa Hissam to hold off a Madonna team that fought its way out of a big whole to make a game out of it Saturday night at the Oak Glen Fieldhouse.

Up 18-1 after the first quarter, the Lady Golden Bears saw the Lady Blue Dons close to within five points with 4:52 left in the game, but went on a huge 15-0 run to end the game with a 64-44 victory.

Hissam, who is closing in on 1,000 points for her career, kept the Golden Bears going each time it seemed the Blue Dons were about to make a run.

The senior four-year starter led all scorers with 19 points and had a double-double with 13 rebounds. She also was a force in the paint on the defensive end with 7 blocked shots.

“Vanessa had a great game,” said Lady Golden Bear coach, Scott Wiley. “She can block shots. I don’t think that refs feel girls can block shots, but she does a nice job of separating so she doesn’t get called for a foul when she blocks shots. She’s got good jumping ability and timing.

“It seemed like those last five minutes were up there for five days,” Wiley continued. “We kept fouling and not taking care of the basketball. We did it to ourselves with their press causing us problems.”

Wiley’s daughter, Karley, made three from long range with two of them in the first period to spark the Bears, who ran their record to 6-2.

The Lady Dons began to whittle away at the Oak Glen lead in the second quarter with sophomore Monica Bragg scoring seven of her team high 13 to outscore the Bears 17-15. But the Lady Bears still were in control with a 33-18 lead at the intermission.

“That first quarter deficit is on me,” said veteran Madonna coach, Don Ogden. “It was poor game planning or just not making the adjustments I needed to make earlier. Once we made those adjustments we came back.

“We got it back to within five twice, but credit Oak Glen. Each time we were knocking at the door they answered the bell and came back out and increased the deficit again.”

Madonna’s Isabella Rosso made a long two-point shot with 4:52 left in the game to lift the Blue Dons to within five points at 49-44, but that was the final score of the game for Madonna, which saw its record drop to 4-4.

The Lady Golden Bears go to Beaver Local Monday for a rematch with another close rival while the Blue Dons wait till next Wednesday for their next action when they travel to Brooke.