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ORANGE COUNTY | GIRLS' BASKETBALL DIVISION III REGIONALS

Rosary Turns Tables and Reaches Final

March 09, 2001|MELANIE NEFF | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Rosary had flashbacks to the Southern Section Division III semifinals Thursday night when North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake rallied in the closing minutes and almost stole a victory the Royals had in their grasp.

In the section semifinals, the Wolverines came back to upset second-seeded Rosary and went on to win the title.

Thursday, however, Rosary forward Jen Farner stole the ball at midcourt and raced in for an uncontested layup with 37 seconds to play, clinching the visiting Royals' 58-52 victory over top-seeded Harvard-Westlake and a trip to the Southern California Division III Regional final.

"I just kept telling myself we could hold on," said Farner, a senior. "They beat us before and we weren't going to let it happen again."

The Royals (25-8), who never trailed, led, 48-36, at the start of the fourth quarter, but were outscored, 12-4, in the next five minutes as the Wolverines pulled within four points with 2:50 remaining. Just over a minute later, Harvard-Westlake pulled within two, after Rosary's Jenise Karcher and Hayley Munroe fouled out, sending the Wolverines to the line.

The Royals were outrebounded, 22-8, in the second half, giving up 13 offensive boards to the Wolverines.

"They killed us in size inside," Royal Coach Richard Yoon said. "It's a good thing we shot the ball good tonight."

The Wolverines had a chance after Farner's layup, but Karina Siam missed a shot and freshman guard Cara Enright rebounded, was fouled and converted two free throws to put the game away.

Farner finished with 16 points, six steals and five rebounds for Rosary and Jennie Asensio added 10 points.

Siam had 16 points for Harvard-Westlake (27-6) and Erin Stepheson scored 12.

"We almost gave it away again," Yoon said. "We had a lot of dumb fouls in the last few minutes, but fortunately the girls knew what this game meant and they put it away."

The Royals will play second-seeded Torrance Bishop Montgomery in the final at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Long Beach Pyramid.

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