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Oxnard Santa Clara comes back to beat Playa del Rey St. Bernard, 52-49, for Division 5AA championship

Cynthia Hernandez makes three clutch free throws to propel Santa Clara past top-seeded St. Bernard. In other championship play, Pasadena Poly defeats Palos Verdes Peninsula Chadwick, 55-42, for the Southern Section Division 5A title.

March 06, 2011|By Melissa Rohlin

After second-seeded Oxnard Santa Clara blew a 10-point fourth quarter lead and trailed by one with just over two minutes remaining, Cynthia Hernandez made three of four free throws to help the Saints defeat top-seeded Playa del Rey St. Bernard, 52-49, in the girls' Southern Section Division 5AA championship at Santa Ana Mater Dei.

"She was unbelievable," Santa Clara Coach Ruben Marin said of Hernandez. "She wanted to put the team on her back and carry us."

Hernandez finished with a game-high 23 points and 12 rebounds for Santa Clara (25-6), which outshot St. Bernard 40% to 27.9% and won its first championship since 1989.

Chyanne Butler led St. Bernard (20-14) with 13 points, and Kacy Swain added 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Pasadena Poly 55, Palos Verdes Peninsula Chadwick 42: In the girls' Southern Section Division 5A championship, Michelle Miller had 32 points and nine rebounds to help top-seeded Pasadena Poly defeat second-seeded Palos Verdes Peninsula Chadwick at Santa Ana Mater Dei.

After Poly won its first championship since 1992, Coach Kim Weber said: "It's amazing. I'm proud of every single one of them."

Chadwick outrebounded Poly, 43-28, but the Dolphins sent the Panthers to the free throw for 35 shots — and Poly made 21.

Courtney Foster had 11 points for Poly (26-2), and Jade Richard-Craven added six points and eight rebounds. Haley Bush led Chadwick (21-9) with 24 points and 14 rebounds.

melissa.rohlin@latimes.com

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