Ventimiglia impresses, leads OHS to comeback win


Going into halftime at their Lindbergh Tournament game (Jan. 30), the girls varsity basketball team was without their two best players and were losing 19-5 to Ladue.

Taylor Ventimiglia (12) put the team on her back and led the Tigers to a 46-43 win in overtime. After a “strong heart-to-heart talk at halftime”, the Tigers came out and quickly scored a couple baskets. With a boost in confidence, the girls’ scoring took off.

“We picked up our defensive intensity,” assistant coach Laura Bishop said of the second half. “We didn’t play scared. We played confident and aggressive.”

Favor Oparaji (10) and offensive leader Alyssa Norberg (11) were both unable to play. Oparaji was sidelined with a bad ankle sprain, while Norberg had symptoms of a concussion.

Without Oparaji and Norberg, Bishop said, “People had to come out of their comfort zone and fill different roles…but it’s a good challenge.”

OHS scored 12 points in the third quarter and 14 points in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 32. In overtime, a total of 25 points were scored.

“Overtime was an offensive battle,” Bishop added. “Overtime was just basically down to the grind–who wanted it more? We did very well finishing.”

Ventimiglia made 10 of her 15 free throws, scoring 29 points total. With Oparaji and Norberg out, Ventimiglia stepped up and led the team to victory. Her performance Thursday earned her a spot on the all-tournament team.

“It’s an honor,” Ventimiglia said of her selection to the all-tournament team. Coach Bishop described Ventimiglia’s performance as “a huge turning point for the whole team.”

The girls varsity basketball team plays next on Tuesday, Feb. 4 against McCluer North at home at 7:00.