Down by 16 points entering the fourth quarter, Palisades (22-10) rallied for a 66-59 victory over Fairfax in an Open Division girls’ semifinal on Saturday at Roybal.
Sophomore Chelsey Gipson, who scored 30 points, had 11 points in the quarter. Bianca King had 13 of her 19 points in the quarter.
“Coach said to pick it up and get excited and that’s what we did,” Gipson said.
Said Coach Torino Johnson: “We couldn’t get momentum. The game was too slow and stagnant. We want to play fast. In the fourth quarter, we went back to what’s worked for us. We picked up the tempo.”
Marguerite Effa scored 27 points for Fairfax (19-12), the defending Division I champion. The Lions were trying to give retiring coach Judi Edwards a shot at a repeat. It was the fourth time Fairfax has lost to Palisades this season.
The Dolphins will face Narbonne (23-5), a 57-52 winner over View Park, in next Saturday's 6 p.m. final at Cal State Dominguez Hills.
La'Tecia Smith, who has won two City titles and is headed to Seton Hall, rallied the Gauchos. She finished with 23 points. Also critical were four consecutive free throws by Audrina Villela in the final two minutes.
Lauryn Catching led View Park (26-3) with 15 points.
"I think it's going to be a great matchup," Smith said of facing Palisades.
In Division I, Westchester will play Bell in Saturday's 1 p.m. final at Cal State Dominguez Hills. Westchester defeated Birmingham, 52-48. Bell received 16 points from Daisy Sanchez in a 49-43 semifinal win over Roosevelt. Alissa Gomez had 22 points for Roosevelt.