Saturday, March 17, 2012
Laguna Hills girls win Div. III
By Blair Angulo
ONTARIO -- The Laguna Hills girls' basketball team is Sacramento bound.
The CIF-Southern Section Division 3AA champion Lady Hawks captured the Southern California Regional title Saturday, beating San Diego Mission Bay, 75-69, at Citizens Bank Arena. It will be Laguna Hills' second trip to the state championship game and first since taking it all in 1997.
"They played with such supreme confidence this year," Laguna Hills coach Jim Martin said. "That came through for us down the stretch."
Laguna Hills, which last month captured its fifth section title, has won 11 straight. They will face Northern California titlist Oakland Bishop O'Dowd at Power Balance Pavilion.
UC Davis signee Celia Marfone had a game-high 28 points and 14 rebounds, including four makes from beyond the arc.
"We wanted Laguna Hills to play fast," Mission Bay coach Sade Wiley-Gatewood said. "But I didn't think they've be able to shoot the 3-pointer like they did."
In all, Laguna Hills (26-8) made seven 3-pointers. Center Anna Mumm had a career-high 20 in support of Marfone, and point guard Maddy Ziering-Smith posted a double-double with 13 points and 11 assists. She also had seven steals.
"We knew they'd be all over Celia," Mumm said. "We had to step up."
A three by Brooke Shimazaki gave the Lady Hawks a nine-point lead with just under four minutes remaining. The advantage shrunk to four but Laguna Hills buckled down defensively and made its free throws.
"I'm just thrilled about this outcome," Martin said.