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Lady Mustangs' Valiant Effort Falls Short

Mar 18, 2015 10:47AM ● Published by DigMB Staff

Sophomore Allie Navarette shoots a free throw against Redondo Union in CIF State Championships.

A spot-on Redondo Union High School girls basketball team ended Mira Costa High School's bid to reach the semifinals in CIF State Championships Tuesday night at Redondo, 46-31. Redondo, under Coach Marcelo Enriquez, who helms what has become a legendary basketball program, will play in The Pyramid at Cal State Long Beach Saturday at 10 a.m. against Mark Keppel from Alhambra.

The classic crosstown rivalry saw the Mira Costa girls fall short on hitting shots, from the field and free throw line. Ultimately, after the Seahawks took an early lead, ending the first quarter up 8-4, the Mustangs scrambled to get into a groove, consistently stymied by a tough Redondo defense and an RUHS offense that took its time to run its plays and score.

Mira Costa's zone defense, which was used throughout the first half, worked fairly well with team members applying good pressure, something the Mustangs excel at. But RUHS continued to maintain control and score, using their strong seniors, 6 ft. Kyra Hamlin and 5' 9" Ami Nyingifa to muscle in points or draw fouls, ending the second quarter up 18-9.

In the third quarter, the Mustangs had some chances to rally back but were plaqued by more missed shots. The Seahawks, for the most part, controlled the game's tempo, though when Mira Costa switched to a man-to-man defense, the tactic shook Redondo's offense, producing turnovers and RUHS nearly running out the 40-second shot clock.

When Costa pulled within 8 points in the third quarter, 24-16, a Costa foul cost them two points from the free throw line (by Hamlin). Both teams then turned the ball over on errant passes that were followed by a brief glimmer of hope for the Mustangs when sophomore Allie Navarette hit a three-pointer to make the score, 26-19.

Redondo answered that with four points before sending Allie to the free throw line, where she hit one of two, bringing the score to 30-20. The Seahawks then came back with a three-pointer, closing out the third quarter ahead, 33-20.

Mira Costa points in the fourth quarter came from Allie, with two, Patience Taylor, senior, with one, Alexa Underwood, sophomore, with two, Halle Maeda, sophomore, with four, and Keilani Ikehara, senior, with two, ending the game at 46-31.

Allie led the Mustangs with 13 points, followed by Halle who had six. Costa had good hustle and quick hands, forcing turnovers and tieing up the ball, however, Redondo clearly seized the momentum it built early on and never looked back.

The Mustangs ended the season 26-8 overall, and 8-2 in league. With three sophomores in the team's starting line-up and another first off the bench, Mira Costa has another great season to look forward to next year.

Editor's Note: A typographical error was made in the paragraph that begins "Redondo answered that with four points.." It has been fixed. DigMB apologizes for any consternation this mistake caused. Thank you to an alert reader for calling it to our attention.

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