The Mater Dei Catholic High School girls basketball team carried the torch this season in the Mesa League with a perfect 10-0 league record. It turned out the Crusaders carried the torch for all South County teams as the only local team to win a quarterfinal-round playoff game to advance to this year’s San Diego Section semifinals.
Third-seeded Mater Dei Catholic (19-9) ended its playoff run with a win and a loss after dropping a 57-42 decision at second-seeded Bishop’s Tuesday. The victorious Knights (17-10) will play top-seeded La Jolla Country Day (25-4) in Saturday’s Division IV championship game at USD. Tip-off is 9:30 a.m.
The Crusaders advanced to Tuesday’s semifinals on the strength of last Friday’s dominating 59-35 quarterfinal victory against the visiting Coronado Islanders (20-7). The Central League champions scored the first five points of the second quarter to jump in front 14-12 on the scoreboard. But the hosts reeled off a dramatic 17-0 run to cruise to a 29-14 halftime lead.
Brittani Lusain acted as the team’s quarterback, using her court vision to direct the MDC offense. Her passing selections seldom betrayed her.
Freshman Kandiss Barber paced the hosts with 13 points while Lusain and Alexandria Young each contributed 12 points to a balanced team effort.
Bishop’s captured Tuesday’s contest braced by two players who each scored 20 or more points. Alissa Campanero led all players with 21 points while teammate Devin Roeper poured in 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Also for the Knights, Imani Littleton collected 13 boards in the win.
Barber keyed the Crusaders with 20 points in the semifinal setback.
Olympian and Montgomery, both in Division III, as well as Ocean View Christian Academy and Lutheran, both in Division V, joined Mater Dei Catholic in last Friday’s CIF quarterfinals.
Olympian fell, 58-38, to top-seeded Our Lady of Peace while fourth-seeded Cathedral Catholic eliminated fifth-seeded Montgomery 60-44. Gabrielle Robledo scored 15 points in the loss for Olympian (19-7) while Tiffany Torregano had 16 points and Nisha Pineda had 13 points for Montgomery (20-10) in its season ending loss.
Fourth-seeded Tri-City Christian eliminated fifth-seeded Ocean View, 48-36, despite a game-high 24 points from Sabrina Johnson. Lutheran (18-9) ended its season with a 50-32 loss to second-seeded Christian Life.
Ocean View (10-0 in Citrus South League) finished an otherwise standout season 21-3 overall.
South County goes 0-for-5 in boys quarterfinals
This year’s boys basketball playoffs ended on a downright downer last Saturday as all five South County teams in action in the San Diego Section quarterfinals came up short at the final buzzer.
The disappointing ending was highlighted by fourth-seeded Otay Ranch’s 69-50 home court loss to El Camino in Division I action. The Mustangs were the best team in the Mesa League this season, but stumbled out of the playoff gate. Alex Perez led Otay Ranch with 26 points but the Wildcats (25-6) benefitted from Dayton Boddie’s game-high 27 points and 11 rebounds, as well as 23 points from Chris Gorman, in scoring the upset win. The visitors got going early, using a 14-0 run to go up 22-8.
Otay Ranch (24-5) narrowed the score to 41-37 with just under six minutes remaining but could not get any closer on the scoreboard.
In other games, third-seeded Helix ended Hilltop’s playoff run with a 59-51 victory in Division II action while San Ysidro’s Division I playoff run ended with a 99-91 loss to Rancho Buena Vista.
Mark McGuire and Omar Hernandez keyed Hilltop (20-9) with 13 points apiece while three SY players scored 20 or more points: Javion Watson (33 points), Eddie Martin (21 points), Armondo Guzman (20 points). Johnny Dee led the Longhorns (26-3) with 41 points. The Cougars finished 21-9.
Mater Dei Catholic ended its season with a loss to Bishop’s in Division IV while CV Calvary Christian Academy saw its season end with a 65-28 loss to Horizon Christian in Division V.