Pinewood girls bounce back with big basketball victory | News | Palo Alto Online |


Pinewood girls bounce back with big basketball victory


Pinewood coach Doc Scheppler was looking for a bounce-back game. He got one in a big way.

Coming off a 53-51 loss to Salesian on Thursday, the Pinewood girls basketball team dominated Bishop O’Dowd from start to finish Saturday for a 72-44 non-league victory at Pinewood.

“I couldn’t be more proud,’’ Scheppler said. “That was more like a Pinewood team. I’m ecstatic about how we came out and made changes, how we viewed the game.’’

After scoring 25 of her team’s 51 points against Salesian, Klara Astrom came back with 22 points against O’Dowd.

“She played like she was the best player on the court,’’ Scheppler said.

Astrom made 9 of 12 field-goal attempts, 4 of 5 from 3-point range and had nine rebounds.

“I feel as long as I’m doing my job on defense that my offense will come to me,’’ Astrom said.

Point guard Brianna Claros, the only senior on the team, scored 15 points, had six assists and did an excellent job of getting the team into an offensive flow.

“Bri played great, just how we need her to push the ball,’’ Scheppler said.

Astrom and Claros were effective in part due to the defensive attention focused on Hannah Jump, the MVP at the Sweet 16 Shootout in San Diego where she averaged 19.0 as Pinewood (5-1) went 4-0 and won the tourney title. Jump had 10 points against O’Dowd after a 12-point outing against Salesian.

“They’re not giving Hannah any looks,’’ Scheppler said. “It’s frustrating her right now. But just her presence on the floor helps everyone else because they’re not going to lay off Hannah.’’

Scheppler was also pleased with the contributions received from the team’s four freshmen -- Courtni Thompson, Annika Decker, Olivia Williams and Una Jovanovic. That group went scoreless in the loss to Salesian.

All four broke into the scoring column against O’Dowd. Decker was able to provide effective minutes backing up Claros at point guard with six points and two steals. Williams, the granddaughter of former NBA player Fritz Williams, scored eight points in limited minutes.

“Decker handled their pressure decently,’’ Scheppler said. “It’s a daunting task for a 14-year-old playing against teams of that caliber.’’

Pinewood (5-1) led 22-12 after one quarter and extended the lead to 39-18 at halftime. The Panthers got up 31 shots from the floor in the first half (making 15) compared to 17 shots for the visitors from Oakland.

The reason for the disparity in shot attempts could be found in the ball-handling column as O’Dowd made 14 first-half turnovers compared to only three for Pinewood.

The Dragons made 6 of their first 9 shots in the third quarter, but Pinewood was not threatened in the second half as the lead was never reduced to less than 16. In all, a much different performance than two days earlier against Salesian.

“We played more as a team,’’ Astrom said. “Against Salesian we didn’t go hard enough for loose balls and when shots didn’t go in the basket we got frustrated. This time we played with more positive energy. We wanted to bounce back.’’

The Panthers host another NorCal powerhouse in Valley Christian on Tuesday at 7:15 p.m.

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Short story writers wanted!

The 34th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult and Teen categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 27, 2020. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category. Sponsored by Kepler's Books, Linden Tree Books and Bell's Books.

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