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DIVISION I GIRLS’ PLAYOFFS : Brady’s Bunches Lead Poway’s Reprise Against Mt. Carmel

TIMES STAFF WRITER

It’s a good thing that Mt. Carmel High girls’ basketball Coach Tracey Johnson isn’t a millionaire. Today, she’d be on the streets.

Johnson said before Mt. Carmel’s Division I championship game against Poway that if she were a betting person, she would place “a rather large bet” on her second-seeded team to beat top-seeded Poway.

That turned out to be enough motivation for Poway’s Allison Brady, who scored 16 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lift the Titans to a 55-41 victory Saturday at the Sports Arena.

“I think (Johnson) would have lost a lot of money,” Brady said.

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“I’d be broke,” conceded Johnson.

The section championship is the first for Poway since 1983. The Titans came close the past two seasons, losing in the semifinals--last year to Mt. Carmel--both years.

The victory is the 23rd in a row for Poway (26-1). The only team to beat the Titans has been Mt. Carmel (21-3). All of Mt. Carmel’s losses have been to Poway.

“No one’s going to beat us now,” Brady said. “I think we can win 50 in a row.”

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The Titans will lose three players off this year’s team, but only Kara Berg is a starter.

Poway led after one quarter, 27-24. Poway scored six unanswered points over a 67-second span early in the second period to take a 33-26 lead, and both teams exchanged baskets through the half, Poway holding a 40-33 edge.

The Titans had another run in the first 50 seconds of the third quarter. After Mt. Carmel’s Nicol Nicholas’ two free throws made it 40-35, Poway got consecutive baskets from sophomore Jamie Shadian, junior Brady and sophomore Kristen Carlson.

Carlson’s basket came only seconds after Brady missed the free throw trying to complete a three-point play.

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“The reason the game was close in the first half was because of all our turnovers (11),” Poway Coach Jay Trousdale said. “In the second half, we did a much better job, and I thought Kristen Carlson did a good job inside.”

Carlson, who is 6-foot-4, replaced Berg in the first quarter after Berg got in foul trouble. Carlson finished the game with 10 points, five rebounds and three blocked shots.

But it was Brady who stood out.

At almost every important juncture, she was exerting her 6-foot presence.

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“Brady was player of the year in the Palomar League, and she proved why tonight,” Trousdale said.

Her job was made easier by the absence of Kris Grazzini, Mt. Carmel’s 6-2 center, who suffered a knee injury in the last Palomar League game of the season and underwent surgery a week later.

"(The absence of) Grazzini did make a difference, but we beat them twice when they had her,” Trousdale said.

Said Brady, “I think we would have beat them anyway.”

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Mt. Carmel shot 50% from the field in the playoffs before the Poway game.

Against Poway, the Sundevils made 14 of 51 attempts and only five of 25 in the second half.


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