After losing three seniors to graduation and two potential starters who transferred, and coming up short in its bid for a fifth consecutive championship last season, Harbor City Narbonne appeared to be losing its grip on City Section girls' basketball supremacy.
Saturday night, the Gauchos begged to differ.
Morghan Medlock had 17 points and nine rebounds, freshman Reiko Thomas scored 12 points, and the second-seeded Gauchos trailed only once in cruising to a 53-43 victory over top-seeded Chatsworth (24-5) in the City final at the Forum.
"Just getting to the championship game for the sixth time in a row is a big [step] for us," said Narbonne co-Coach James Anderson, whose team has four freshmen and five sophomores. "The other times, we were supposed to win because we were the top seeds. This time around was more gratifying."
Narbonne (21-8) took a 6-5 lead with 3:01 left in the first quarter and never looked back.
Sophomore Ifunaya Ibekwe had 11 points and 12 rebounds, but her absence early in the fourth quarter after picking up a fourth foul helped Chatsworth rally, pulling to within 36-33 on a three-point basket by Ayana Wrighster with seven minutes left.
Anderson reinserted Ibekwe three minutes later and the Gauchos went on a 10-4 run to extend their lead to 51-41 with less than two minutes left.
Wrighster finished with 14 points and seven steals, but the Chancellors (24-5) made only six of 18 free throws.
-- Mayar Zokaei