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Youthful Gorman girls overcome third-quarter hiccup, roll to win

Midway through the third quarter of her team’s game Monday, Bishop Gorman girls basketball coach Sheryl Krmpotich appeared about ready to pull out her hair.

Such is the life of a coach with a young but awfully talented team.

The Gaels, who entered the season with only four players who had measurable varsity experience, have moments when they look like world beaters and others when the inexperience shows.

But Gorman overcame its third-quarter issues, racking up a 58-34 win over visiting San Diego High.

“We came out flat in the third quarter and weren’t prepared,” Krmpotich said. “Once we gathered our composure and started playing our brand of basketball, it was a lot easier.”

The Gaels (12-5) have only one senior and two juniors a year after finishing as the state runner-up. Three freshmen see a significant amount of playing time.

“We have a lot of kids who are young or haven’t really played a lot,” Krmpotich said. “They’re competitive, but there’s a hesitation because they don’t want to mess up.”

Aaryn Ellenberg, the team’s lone senior, scored 11 of her 13 points in the first half, helping the Gaels take a 31-11 halftime lead.

But San Diego started the second half on an 11-3 run to pull within 34-22.

The Gaels tightened up defensively and allowed only 12 points in the final 12 minutes to pull away.

Chelsie Pitt, one of the Gaels’ two juniors, added 11 points. Gorman had three freshmen — April Rivers, Tonishia Childress and Diamond Majors — each score at least eight points.

Tia Dixon led the Cavers with 19 points on 9-for-29 shooting.

The Gaels improved to 6-5 against non-Nevada teams. Gorman played in two out-of-state tournaments and faced a California school in three of its past four games.

“We have to play outside the state,” Krmpotich said. “We’re not going to play a team that’s that aggressive or attacks as much as they do as often just playing in the city. You can’t just play local; it gives you a false sense of reality.”

Contact reporter Bartt Davis at bdavis@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5230.

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