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Harvard-Westlake Can't Repeat Success Against Rosary, 58-52


STUDIO CITY — The Harvard-Westlake High girls' basketball team found itself in a familiar position Thursday night.

As was the case two weeks ago, the Wolverines hosted Fullerton Rosary for the right to advance to a final at The Pyramid in Long Beach.

Last time, a trip to the Southern Section final was at stake. Thursday, a berth in the Southern regional Division III final was on the line, and the Wolverines wish the outcome would have been the same.

Harvard-Westlake was unable to rise to the occasion a second time, losing, 58-52, to a team with a score to settle.

"We almost gave it away with dumb fouls at the end; two of our girls fouled out," Rosary Coach Rich Yoon said. "But the people on the floor wanted to win so badly because [Harvard-Westlake] denied us a chance to get to the [section] finals. So this game meant more."

Top-seeded Harvard-Westlake (27-6) never led and trailed, 48-36, after three quarters.

Nyasha Braylock's two free throws pulled the Wolverines within 54-52 with 48 seconds to play, but Harvard-Westlake missed the rest of its shots.

"The difference this time is that we missed too many easy shots and their post players were more of a factor," Harvard-Westlake Coach Melissa Hearlihy said. "Last time they lived and died on the perimeter."

Rosary (25-8) took a 56-52 lead when Jen Farmer stole a cross-court pass by Lindsey Medders and scored on a layup with 40 seconds to play.

Harvard-Westlake had several chances to score in the final seconds, the last on a three-point shot by Karina Siam that bounced off the rim.

Rosary's Cara Enright rebounded the miss and was fouled. She made two free throws with six seconds left to secure the outcome.

Siam led the Wolverines with 16 points and eight rebounds. Erin Stepheson scored 12 points and Chantal Kazay added eight.

The fifth-seeded Royals, who play Torrance Bishop Montgomery in the final at 6 p.m. Saturday, led, 17-11, after the first quarter. They opened the second quarter with a 10-3 run to extend the lead to 27-14.

The Wolverines defeated Rosary, 64-59, on Feb. 23 at L.A. Baptist High in the Southern Section Division III-AA semifinals.

"I was proud of the way we battled back," Hearlihy said. "I wish I could be sad, but I'm not. We had a great season and we won a Southern Section championship. No one can take that away from us."

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