News Valentinetti Leads Gc Past Dragons - Garrett College
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Campus News

February 8th, 2024

Valentinetti leads GC past Dragons

Sophomore finishes with 17 points, 15 rebounds in key region victory

Sophomore guard Gabriella Valentinetti had 17 points and a game-high 15 rebounds Saturday afternoon as Garrett College defeated visiting Howard Community College, 69-60, in a women’s basketball contest with huge regional tournament implications.

"Gabby played a heck of a game," said GC head coach JT Lewis, whose Lady Lakers (11-5 overall, 6-1 Region 20) moved past Howard (13-5, 6-2) into second place in the Division II Region 20 standings. "She gave us a spark in the second half when we were a little flat and Howard was trying to come back."

CCBC-Catonsville (15-4, 5-2) and the College of Southern Maryland (6-9, 5-2) also remain in the mix for a top regional seeding. GC, Howard, Catonsville, and Southern Maryland are all fighting to finish second or third to put themselves in the opposite half of the regional tournament draw from reigning NJCAA Division II national champion CCBC-Essex (14-6, 5-0).

"We want to finish as the second or third seed and hopefully see Essex in the region finals," said Lewis.

GC built a 20-11 lead at the quarter break and expanded that to 38-20 at the half against the injury-riddled Dragons.

"We knew that due to injuries Howard was only dressing six players," said Lewis. "We wanted to push the ball up the court and use that to our advantage."

Renee Timbers finished with 14 points, five rebounds, and five assists for GC.

"Renee did a great job running the offense and finding open people," said Lewis.

Lady Laker Aleeya Silver finished with a double-double (12 points, 10 rebounds) despite being in foul trouble most of the game. Manuela Perez de Castro had 10 points, eight rebounds, six assists, and three steals for Garrett.

"Manu did a little bit of everything for us," said Lewis.

Bayleigh Lamberson just missed double figures with nine points and nine rebounds.

Nhaikyia Smith scored a game-high 19 points for the Dragons. Mikiyah Mallett finished with 13 points, and Jaylah Putman chipped in 11 for Howard.

GC was coming off a 97-58 road win against Point Park University’s junior varsity. That result, compared to a four-point home loss to Point Park in November, is an indication of how far the Lady Lakers have come.

"We’re getting better each game," said Lewis, whose team has won four straight. "It seems like everyone is figuring out what they need to do."

The Lady Lakers are off until Saturday when they play a 1 p.m. road game at Frederick Community College (9-9, 3-4).