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March 30, 2014

Winless on Saturday

After Pinewood started the weekend with its sixth state title, Long Beach Poly bookended it with a 70-52 win over Salesian in the Open Division for the program's sixth championship.

Basketball is a game of runs and there were head turning ones in the Open Division final. Long Beach Poly scored the game's first six points and used a 14-4 run in the second quarter to garner a 36-23 halftime lead. Salesian had 13 first half turnovers, including eight in the first quarter. Tania Lamb made three first quarter threes to complement the Jackrabbits press.

The game shifted coming out of the locker room with Salesian scoring the first 16 points to take 39-36 lead. It marked the first Salesian advantage of the game.

"We went to our most aggressive press," Salesian head coach Steve Pezzola said. "I thought we rebounded better in that stretch. We shot the ball better and got into our offense better."

The Jackrabbits closed the third on a 12-3 run and remained in the lead the rest of the night. With Salesian trailing by six points with 5:47 left, Mariya Moore was whistled for a charge for her fifth foul. The game was played at the foul line for much of the remainder as both teams combined to shoot 77 free throws.

Long Beach Poly, which had a +21 advantage rebounding and 19 offensive rebounds, got 19 points and 15 rebounds from freshman Ayanna Clark. Lajahna Drummer had 11 points and nine rebounds and Lamb finished with 13 points. Senior Arica Carter had five points in just 14 minutes of action due to foul trouble. Pezzola said the Pride's goal was to hold Long Beach Poly to 10 offensive rebounds or less, but it ended up at its season average.

The Pride, which were making their third straight title game appearance, got 16 points and 10 rebounds from Mariya Moore and 11 points from Kian McNair. Sophomore Minyon Moore had 10 points. Salesian shot 24 percent with just 11 made field goals in the loss. It was 1-for-11 from three point range.

Chaminade too much inside for Mitty

When you are living four feet and in, your shooting percentage is going to be high. Still, 66 percent from the field is unheard of in a state final. This is what Chaminade accomplished in beating Mitty 80-51 for its first state title.

"We just came out with a lot of energy and determination. We executed from the get go," Chaminade head coach Kelli DiMuro said. "This is the best team I've ever had in my career (17 years). "

The Eagles shot 70 percent in the first half for a 46-21 lead. They pushed the lead to 30 points in the third. The advantage dipped to 21 following a 9-0 Mitty run, but never got any closer.

Pepperdine bound post Devin Stanback, in winning the third state title for the Stanback family, had 27 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore Valerie Higgins had 15 points, seven rebounds and three steals. Natalie Valenzuela (15 points, 10 rebounds) and Kaylie Fandino had 12 points to round out four players in double figures.

"We did give (Stanback) varied looks, but she adjusted every time," Mitty head coach Sue Phillips said.

The Monarchs got 13 points (5-for-15), four rebounds, three assists and three steals from UCLA signee Kelli Hayes. Freshman Madeline Holland had 11 pints on 5-for-5 shooting. Mitty was outrebounded by 15 points and struggled with the size of Chaminade throughout the loss.

Braves fall in D4 final

Justin-Siena's run didn't have another upset Saturday with the Braves falling to Sierra Canyon 64-37. The Trailblazers, which won the 2013 Division V state title, used an 18-2 first half run to blow up a 13-11 game.

"I think their length was a big problem in completing passes and getting good shots," Justin-Siena head coach Mike Boles said. He added the Trailblazers' second chance points was an issue for the Braves' defense.

Pressure and size were the difference for Sierra Canyon, which forced 22 turnovers and got high percentage looks in the paint. Junior post Cheyanne Wallace had 21 points and 18 rebounds and junior wing Kennedy Burke had 12 points and 11 rebounds. Freshman guard Alexis Grisby had 15 points with three made three-pointers.

Justin-Siena was held to 29 percent shooting and was outscored 18-0 at the three point line. The Braves came into the state finals averaging more than three made three pointers per game. Chico State signee Haley Cremen had 17 points and 12 rebounds and Sadie Irvine had eight points and five rebounds.

In just her second year, Komaki and Sierra Canyon have two state titles and return all but senior starter Zoe Goss (15 points).


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