Vista Ridge wins basketball tournament, hopeful for future

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Hillary poured in 29 points with seven assists, 10 steals and eight rebounds as Vista Ridge (13-2) blasted Pflugerville Hendrickson (10-4) 66-51 to win the Third Annual Nancy Walling Classic basketball tournament.

Vista Ridge jumped to a 15-10 first-period lead as Cardano-Hillary scored eight points and added two assists to play a hand in 12 of the Rangers’ 15 points. Vista Ridge stepped up the pace, outscoring the Hawks 20-12 in the second quarter and 20-14 in the third to take a 55-36 lead and coasted to the victory.

 Katie McKie added 16 points and nine rebounds with four steals for the Rangers. Cardano-Hillary and McKie were both named to the all-tournament team.

 “We are playing pretty well, we lost in overtime to Bowie who played extremely well earlier in the week and we enjoyed the level of competition, seeing a really good Pflugerville team a solid Dallas Skyline team and a strong Hendrickson team in the finals,” Vista Ridge head coach Keith Allen said.

Two Hendrickson guards, Megan Kirby, who scored 16 points, and Mikayla Woods, who added eleven points, were both named to the all-tournament team after the defeat.

 Ansley Herrin, Jessica McCracken and Cassie Vaughns played well for the Rangers as did Cardano-Hillary and McKie as the Rangers defeated Pflugerville 68-54, Connally 64-47 and Dallas Skyline 65-56 in pool play.

 Host Pflugerville (11-3) raced past Cedar Ridge 56-28 for third place in the eight-team, pool play format event.  Britney Onyeje scored 24 points as the Panthers used a tenacious defense that forced 22 turnovers in the contest.  With Onyeje leading the way, Pflugerville is averaging double-digit steals per contest and using their scrambling press is forcing turnovers at a high rate in their opposition.

 “We are playing better each time out, our defense is starting to click, we have lost three games (two to Vista Ridge and the third to Waco Midway), we are striving to play a tough schedule and prepare for district,” Panthers head coach April Hundl said.

Pflugerville scheduled Vista Ridge for their first game of pool play and lost to Rangers, 68-54, as Cardano-Hillary scored 39 points.  Pflugerville rebounded from their opening pool play loss to Vista Ridge to beat Dallas Skyline 76-40 and Connally 70-39, advancing to the third-place game.

The tournament is named in honor of former Pflugerville head coach Nancy Waling, who amassed a career record of 647-255 while leading the Panthers to 10 district championships and 18 playoff appearances.

In other tournament action, Cedar Ridge placed second in their pool beating Rouse 52-42 and Judson 46-37 while losing to Hendrickson 45-35. 

 Judson beat Rouse in pool play and Skyline in the fifth place match. Rouse and Connally were both winless in pool play, but the Raiders beat Connally for seventh place in the three-day event.

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