Nathan Mollat/Daily Journal
Notre Dame-Belmont’s Megan Smith drives down the lane during the Tigers’ 44-27 loss to Moreau Catholic-Hayward in the finals of the Steve Geramoni Invitational Monday night.
Notre Dame-Belmont girls’ basketball coach Josh Davenport can never be accused of stacking the Steve Geramoni Invitational’s odds in his team’s favor, as evidenced by the fact the Tigers have not won their own tournament in what Davenport estimates to be nine or 10 years.
The fact the Tigers faced Moreau Catholic — a North Coast Section and Northern California Division IV power — in the finals of the tournament Monday night reinforces that point.
Notre Dame-Belmont will have to add another year to its tournament drought as the Mariners took down the Tigers 44-27.
Notre Dame (7-3 overall) has no one to blame but itself. The Tigers committed 20 turnovers and Moreau came up with 12 steals. It was especially bad in the second half as the Tigers had as many points as turnovers — 10.
“You’re not going to win many games turning the ball over that much, even if we shoot 75 percent, which we didn’t,” Davenport said. “That’s what we’re trying to figure out. Was it us? Were we too amped up? We were a little panicky and turned the ball over too much.”
The Tigers had no answer for Moreau forward Haley Joly, the tournament MVP who scored a game-high 20 points, scoring all 10 of her team’s third-quarter points.
Notre Dame was led by Emma Pastorino, who finished with eight points. Samantha Requilman added seven in the loss for the Tigers.
“This (Moreau) team could compete in our league (the West Catholic Athletic League),” Davenport said.
Things started decently for the Tigers. After Joly hit a pair of free throws to open the scoring, Notre Dame got back-to-back 3-pointers from Pastornio and Requilman to put the Tigers up 6-2.
It would the Tigers only lead of the game. Moreau (8-2) responded with a 9-0 run to take an 11-6 lead with 44 seconds left in the first quarter and led 11-8 going into the second period.
The Mariners continued their hot play as they opened the second with a 7-2 run to open up an 18-10 advantage with 4:21 to play in the first half. Notre Dame continue to struggle handling the ball and the bigger, taller Mariners took advantage and a 23-17 lead into halftime.
The game was lost for the Tigers in third quarter. Notre Dame attempted just four shots in the period and turned the ball over five times. The Tigers would have been shut out in the third quarter if not for a pair of Pastorino free throws with 17 seconds left that cut the Tigers’ deficit to 31-19.
It was more of the same in the fourth quarter as the Tigers connected on only 2 of 11 shot attempts, scoring just eight points to give then a second-half total of 10 points.
Moreau, meanwhile, scored 21 points in the second half, on top of the 23 the Mariners scored in the first half.
While his team came up short, Davenport was at least glad to get some early preparation for the upcoming WCAL season.
“I’m absolutely ecstatic to play a team like that. It gives us a measuring stick,” Davenport said. “The kids are playing pretty well. We haven’t faced a team like that yet.”
Hillsdale gave Northgate everything it had in the third-place game of the Steve Geramoni Invitational, but the Broncos held on for a 36-33 win.
Hillsdale was led by Emily Nepomuceno, who scored 10 points. Louisa Bevilacqua added eight points. C.C. Cueno led the Broncos with 10 points.
Hillsdale scored the first two buckets of the game for a quick 4-0 lead, but that was erased by a 7-0 Northgate run and the Knights found themselves trailing 12-11 after one quarter.
An Emily Lyons bucket gave the lead back to Hillsdale to start the second quarter, but the Knights managed only one more point the rest of the period as they found themselves down 19-14 at halftime.
Hillsdale outscored Northgate 11-7 in the third period and cut its deficit to one point, 26-25, on a Nepomuceno 3-pointer at the quarter buzzer.
That seemed to spark the Knights. Rachiel Tjan’s bucket off the drive through the paint gave the Knights their last lead of the game, 27-26, but Northgate answered with a 8-2 run to take a 34-29 lead. Hillsdale cut the deficit to one, 34-33, following a pair of Adesia Cotton free throws, but Danielle Arauzo’s bucket with 21 seconds left extended the Broncos lead to 36-33.
Hillsdale had a chance to tie it, but turned the ball over with three seconds to play without getting a shot off.