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Ladue Girls Repeat Hancock Invitational Championship

The Rams defeated DuBourg 44-37 in the title game Thursday afternoon.

The Ladue girls basketball team earned little respect by being seeded third in the eight-team Hancock Invitational.

The Rams were the defending champion but were seeded behind DuBourg and St. Pius.

Ladue disposed of both of those teams, handling St. Pius 54-31 in the semifinals and DuBourg 44-37 in the championship game Thursday afternoon.

"We really didn't care where we were seeded," Ladue coach Cord Dockery said. "You have no control over that. We just wanted to play three good games."

The first game, a 48-39 win over Affton, may not have been classified as a good win as the Rams won despite some sloppy play. But the final two games over second-seeded St. Pius and top-seeded DuBourg were indeed good ones.

"We were late for the first game and I don't think we were mentally ready for it," Ladue center Taylor Robinson said. "But I thought we came back and played a couple of good games. I like playing in tournaments like this to play some non-conference teams. I am excited that we won it again and defended our title."

All three victories in the tournament came against teams with winning records. St. Pius was 6-2 prior to the semifinal game which Ladue dominated from start to finish. Robinson had 16 points and Kate Holloway added 14 for the Rams, who had a 26-10 halftime advantage.

It was not quite as big a margin in the championship game although Ladue never trailed in the game. The Rams jumped to a 20-8 lead in the second quarter and led at halftime 24-15.

Ladue extended its lead to 14 points in the third quarter but DuBourg's Tiara Fitzpatrick scored a three-point play the hard way in the final 1.4 seconds of the quarter. Fitzpatrick made the first of two free throw attempts, missed the second but grabbed the rebound and beat the buzzer for a field goal.

A pair of late 3-pointers by DuBourg's Laura Engel made things somewhat interesting at the end. But Robinson was able to answer the 3-pointers en route to a game high 20 points.

"Taylor has definitely stepped up her game so far this year," Dockery said. "She is our go-to player inside. We just have to keep her out of foul trouble."

Dockery was pleased with his team's defense, which limited the Cavaliers to just 23 points through three quarters.

"We are not going to be a powerhouse offensive team so we need to play good defense to be successful," Dockery said. "That has been our one constant so far. Our defense has been good."

The Rams finish the 2011 portion of their season with a 7-3 record. Dockery gave his team the rest of the calendar year off. They will practice Monday morning in preparation for their first home game of the season against Seckman Wednesday.

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