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Aztecs stun Spartans, 55-52, in double-overtime CIF thriller Phillip Brents | Fri, Feb 28 2014 04:26 PM

The Montgomery High School girls basketball program has established some genuine tradition with 11 championship banners hanging in the school’s gymnasium, including CIF runner-up banners from 1997 and 2007.

The current head coach of the Lady Aztecs is alumna Cassie Klockgether, who cites former coaches Lori Morris and Baby Jane Filamor as being instrumental in both her own development as a player as well as that of her coaching staff, four of whom attended Montgomery High School.

“We all played for amazing coaches who taught us life skills and the meaning of teamwork,” Klockgether said. “They started a winning tradition and we will continue to do our best to follow in their footsteps.”

The Aztecs, winners of this year’s Metro-South Bay League title, took a giant step in furthering the program’s tradition after recording a stunning 55-52 double-overtime thriller over 2014 Metro-Pacific League champion Chula Vista in Tuesday’s opening round of the San Diego Section Division II playoffs.

No. 13-seeded Montgomery (16-12) advances to play at fifth-seeded San Marcos (20-8) in Friday’s division quarterfinals.
No. 4-seeded Chula Vista ended its season 20-8 overall.

Klockgether admitted it’s been “challenging” for her team this season, with five of 10 players on the team pulled up from the junior varsity ranks and the more experienced players on the team being only sophomores.

It was no different Tuesday evening.

A hush fell over the packed Chula Vista High School gym with 58.9 seconds remaining in the first overtime period and the visiting Aztecs trailing 48-46 on the scoreboard.

It was at that moment that Chula Vista sophomore Breanna Morales and Montgomery sophomore Murrellene Woodson collided face-on in the Spartan attacking zone. Both collapsed to the floor and front-row spectators immediately called for medical assistance.

Morales was assisted to her feet first, with blood streaming down her face and onto her uniform from a nasty cut.

Woodson, the 2013-14 Metro-South Bay League Player of the Year, remained on the floor longer, and she also had a bloodied face when eventually helped to her feet.

Neither player returned to the game; Woodson was spirited away by paramedics from the CVHS gym while Morales returned to the Spartan bench area for a brief time while holding an ice pack on her face.

After a 20-minute play stoppage, the intensity-filled game resumed under even more trying circumstances for the two teams, especially for the Aztecs after losing their top player.

But the game would not end once the 58.9 seconds were run off the first overtime period.

Montgomery junior Evangelin Morga sank a lay-in off a defensive steal in the dying seconds to tie the game at 48-48 and send it into a second four-minute overtime period.

Aztec senior captain Carla Racelis then hit a jumper to open the second OT period to put her team up 50-48.

After a free throw by CV junior Julia Chambers narrowed the Spartans’ deficit to a point, Montgomery junior Mikaelah Wieland dropped in a three-point bomb to up the visitors’ lead to 53-49 with 1:22 to play.

A trey by CV senior co-captain Bella Julio chopped the Aztec lead to 53-52 with 4.9 seconds to play.

Following two clutch free throws by Aztec junior Aviva Garcia, the Montgomery lead was extended to three points at 55-52.

The hosts received the inbounds play and an ensuing half-court bomb just missed the mark at the buzzer in an attempt by the Spartans to send the game into a third overtime period.

The Aztecs celebrated en masse as the horn sounded.

“Props to (Chula Vista head coach John DeJesus) and Chula Vista, they’re a great team,” Klockgether said after the conclusion of the exciting prep hoops contest. “They’re a champion for a reason.”

Klockgether said the injury to Woodson clearly inspired her team, which lists just one senior on its roster.

“We’ve stressed teamwork all season — that everyone has to do their job,” Klockgether said. “When Murrellene went out, we battled for her. We won it for each other. I think I can’t be any more proud.”

The Aztecs, who matched the Spartans with a perfect 6-0 league record, trailed 19-17 at halftime but quickly tied the score at the start of the second half.

The teams traded buckets, with Chula Vista taking a 22-19 lead, then the Aztecs going up 28-27 on a shot with four seconds left in the third quarter.

Montgomery would twice build four-point leads in the fourth quarter before the Spartans would rally to lead 39-37.

A bucket and foul shot by CV’s Maria Tinajero with 49 seconds remaining in regulation erased a 40-39 Aztec lead, but Montgomery junior Alexa Padilla sank a shot with 30.3 seconds left to tie the score at 42-42.

A three-point bomb attempt by the visitors bounced off the backboard as time expired in regulation.

Chambers put the hosts up 44-42 in OT after putting in a rebound and, prior to her injury, CV’s Morales put in her own rebound to give the Spartans a 46-44 advantage.

Morales, despite missing the second overtime period, wound up leading Chula Vista with 13 points while Tinajero and Julio each contributed 11 points.

Racelis keyed Montgomery with 14 points, followed by Wieland and Woodson each with 10 points.

San Marcos advanced to meet the Aztecs in Friday’s quarterfinals after topping 12th-seeded Carlsbad (12-16) by a score of 66-56 on Tuesday.

Friday’s winner advances to the division semifinals on Tuesday. The division championship game is scheduled March 8 at USD’s Jenny Craig Pavilion.

“We are fortunate to be in the playoffs and we are very excited to be in the situation that we are in,” Klockgether said.





San Diego Section Girls Basketball Playoffs
Tuesday, Feb. 25
Division I
Olympian 51, Vista 50

Senior Nicole Johnson led the No. 8 Eagles (4-4 in Metro-Mesa League play, 16-13 overall) with 20 points while teammate Kalybriah Haskin dropped in 14 points as Olympian edged the ninth-seeded Panthers (16-12). The Eagles advance to meet top-seeded Mission Hills (20-8) in Friday’s quarterfinals.

Our Lady of Peace 54, Eastlake 37
The No. 10 Titans ended their season 17-12 after the loss to the seventh-seeded Pilots (18-11). Quenesha Vanhook led Eastlake (3-5 in Metro-Mesa League play) with 12 points while teammate Erin Thorson contributed 11 points.

Division II
Otay Ranch 56, Patrick Henry 33

The No. 6 Mustangs (5-3 in Metro-Mesa League play, 17-12 overall) advance to meet third-seeded Helix (24-7) in Friday’s quarterfinals after downing the No. 11 Patriots (14-14). Otay Ranch is paced by Isalys Quinones (18.4 points per game, 11.2 rebounds per game).

Ramona 70, Bonita Vista 47
Ashley Quidolit led the No. 16 Barons (0-8 in Metro-Mesa League play, 9-17 overall) with 14 points against the top-seeded Lady Bulldogs (22-6). Carol Schroeder closed out a standout sophomore season for Bonita Vista with 11 points in the setback.

Santa Fe Christian 41, Sweetwater 35
Nayely Sanchez keyed the No. 9 Red Devils (3-3 in Metro-Pacific League play, 15-12 overall) with 13 points in the loss to the eighth-seeded Eagles (14-8).

Division III
Hilltop 38, Tri-City Christian 22

The No. 7 Lancers, nursing a 12-10 lead early in the second quarter, went on to out-distance the 10th-seeded Eagles. Brittany Gafare led Hilltop (2-4 in Metro-Pacific League play, 16-9 overall) with 14 points. The Lancers advance to Friday’s quarterfinals against No. 2 Central Union (20-5), which defeated 15th-seeded Francis Parker, 72-32, on Tuesday.

Division IV
Ocean View Christian 46, Holtville 20

Sabrina Johnson paced the second-seeded Patriots (8-0 in Sunset League play, 16-2 overall) with 20 rebounds, 10 assists and 13 points in the win over the No. 15 Vikings (6-17). Genesis Lepe added 11 points for the winners, who will next face 10th-seeded Crawford (9-14) in Friday’s quarterfinals.

Southwest 37, St. Joseph Academy 31
The 13th-seeded Raiders (8-16) upset the fourth-seeded Crusaders (14-4) to advance against fifth-seeded Hoover (11-11) on Friday.

Calvin Christian 39, Mar Vista 23
The 16th-seeded Mariners (1-20 overall) ended their season with the loss to the top-seeded Lancers (19-5).

Point Loma 48, San Ysidro 28

Destiny Zamudio led the 11th-seeded Cougars (8-14 overall) with 10 points in the loss to the No. Pointers (15-8).

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