The Oberlin Phoenix girls basketball team dropped a pair of games this past week, falling 51-41 to Brooklyn and 57-43 to Valley Forge.
Against the Hurricanes, Oberlin jumped out to an early lead, riding the hot hand of Karissa Rankin to a 16-10 advantage after one quarter. Rankin would fill the cylinder for 18, leading all scorers.
Coach Tiffany Shields was pleased with the her progress. “She’s really begun to re-familiarize herself with the game and it’s great to see. She’s already becoming a force down in the low post and on the boards.”
Rankin has missed the basketball season in recent years due to scheduling conflicts.
Brooklyn bounced back to tie the game 28-28 at the half before pulling ahead for the 10-point victory late.
Contributing to the Phoenix scoring were Bryanna Rivas and Aniya Smith, each contributing six points, Kiah Fields with four, and Victoria Jackson and Cameron Payne with three points each.
On Saturday, non-conference foe Valley Forge visited Oberlin and came away with the win. Rankin again led all scorers with 22.
An injury to Rivas early in the game upended the Phoenix offense as Shields re-worked her rotation in the junior’s absence. More help down low for Rankin was provided by 6-foot-2 sophomore Aniya Smith, who contributed both points and boards in the loss.
Despite the losses, Shields and her assistants definitely see improvement game to game.
“The girls are working hard in practice and we are starting to learn to play to our strengths. Working the ball down low, boxing out for rebounds and accurate timely passing are all improving. We’ll get there,” she said.
The girls will host local PAC rival Firelands on Saturday.