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High Schools | SOUTHERN SECTION GIRLS' BASKETBALL FINALS

Troy Beats Norco to Win II-AA Title

March 07, 2004|Martin Henderson; Lauren Peterson

Top-seeded Fullerton Troy won its second consecutive Southern Section championship, defending its Division II-AA title with a 61-54 victory over third-seeded Norco on Saturday at the Pyramid in Long Beach.

The top-seeded Warriors (30-1) got 25 points from Meghan McGuire but were nearly victimized by a spectacular performance by their opponent's 5-foot-10 junior guard, Erika Arriaran, who helped bring Norco back from a 22-6 first-quarter deficit.

It was the first appearance in a section final for Norco (27-4).

Arriaran, with a 10-inch height advantage over 5-foot Troy sophomore Sara Yee, finished with 27 points, including 13 in the second quarter as Norco closed the deficit to 28-23 at the half.

After converting two free throws with 6 minutes 50 seconds left to give Norco its first lead, 47-45, Arriaran missed her next seven field-goal attempts. On six of them, her shot came up short.

She fouled out with 39 seconds left and her team trailing, 55-51.

"I thought if we let her score 25 or 30 and shut everyone else down, we'd be OK," Troy Coach Kevin Kiernan said. "We wanted to make her work, make her exhausted, and I think she was."

Arriaran said fatigue wasn't a factor, but she was 10 for 21 from the field before her fourth-quarter drought. Deanna Moreno added 12 points for Norco.

McGuire scored 10 of her 25 points in the fourth quarter, which began with the score tied, 41-41.

La Puente Bishop Amat 44, Pasadena Muir 40 -- After making only one of its first 31 field-goal attempts, Muir (22-7) cut a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter to one point before falling to Bishop Amat (28-3) in the Division III-A final.

Muir lost in the final for the third time in four years, but its 22-point effort in the fourth quarter -- after scoring only 18 through three quarters -- nearly salvaged an upset of the second-seeded Lancers, who also won in 1999.

Three three-point baskets in the final 3:39 keyed Muir's comeback. The last one, by freshman Darixia Morris with 28 seconds left, made the score 41-40. The Mustangs missed two three-point attempts in the final seconds and Bishop Amat converted three free throws.

-- Martin Henderson

Inglewood Morningside 73, Newbury Park 40 -- Natasha Thomas had 24 points and 17 rebounds and Lorie Rayford added 19 points and 19 rebounds as the top-seeded Monarchs came away with their first section championship since 1999 and their ninth title overall with the victory in the Division III-AA final.

Thomas, a 6-3 senior center, and Rayford, a senior transfer from Lynwood, helped Morningside (29-3) outrebound Newbury Park, 51-26. Brynn Cameron finished with 24 points and seven steals for unseeded Newbury Park (17-8).

Los Angeles Marlborough 39, Cerritos Valley Christian 34 -- Junior guard Emily Tay scored eight of her 12 points in the fourth quarter and sophomore center Abi Olajuwon returned from a knee injury and had five points and five rebounds in the last 4:25 to help the top-seeded Mustangs (26-3) rally from a 29-24 deficit and win their second consecutive Division IV-AA title. Katrina Davis led Cerritos Valley Christian (23-7) with 12 points.

Los Angeles Brentwood 57, Downey Calvary Chapel 41 -- Senior guard Jennifer Jackson scored 15 of her 19 points in the second half and second-seeded Brentwood (26-6) won its first section title in the Division IV-A championship game. Joy Butler led top-seeded Calvary Chapel (25-4) with 16 points and eight rebounds.

-- Lauren Peterson

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