ONTARIO -- The Riverside J.W. North girls' basketball team didn't want to feel the way it felt two weeks ago in Anaheim. One night of dejection was enough.
North learned its lesson after falling short in the CIF Southern Section title game. It all came together Saturday afternoon in a 57-49 victory against Foothill in the Southern California Division II regional championship at Citizens Bank Arena. The Huskies (30-5) will make their first-ever appearance in the state championship game next week in Sacramento.
"We weren't prepared enough back them," North first-year coach Leonard De Coud said, referring to his team's loss to Lynwood on March 2. "We had to stay humble and hungry at the same time."
Foothill (28-6), making its first SoCal finals appearance, pulled to within two points with two minutes left but never scored again.
"It's sad to see it end, but we've had a really amazing run," Foothill coach Vince Namba said. "It was uncharted territory for us but our fans and community were great."
Pricilla Brooks led North with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Molly Greubel had 16 for Southern Section Division 2A champion Foothill.
North had an amazing turnaround this season under De Coud. The Huskies were 4-21 last year.
"We knew we'd have to come hard this year," said Brittany Crain, who posted a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.