GIRLS' BASKETBALL ROUNDUP : For San Clemente Coach, the Good News Abounds

A guard is born.

And, perhaps, an Orange County Top 10 girls' basketball team.

San Clemente Coach Mary Mulligan wasn't on the bench to see the Tritons earn their biggest victory in her six-year career Friday night. But she had a good excuse.

While San Clemente was beating seventh-ranked Tustin, 59-42, in the quarterfinals of the Costa Mesa Winter Classic, Mulligan was in labor at a Mission Viejo hospital. A few minutes before 7 p.m., Tori Michelle Mulligan was delivered by Caesarean section.

Mulligan got a halftime update (20-16, San Clemente) from interim head coaches Brian Scherbart and Karen Gerhard just after the baby was born. More good news followed.

The Tritons (6-3) broke a 30-30 tie in the third quarter with a 13-0 run, and Tustin (7-4) came no closer than eight points the rest of the way. Michelle MacIntyre scored 15 points to lead San Clemente, and Maili Rohner and Dana Netherby each added 12.

San Clemente meets host Costa Mesa in the semifinals at 8 tonight.

"This is a great win for San Clemente," Mulligan said when reached at the hospital. "We've had the ability to beat top 10 teams before, but we never did and couldn't get over that hump. Beating a team like Tustin will help us so much the rest of the way."

So will a 7-pound, 15-ounce good-luck charm, who will keep her mother off the sidelines until Jan. 2. Will Tori someday follow in her mother's all-Southern Section footsteps at San Clemente?

"If she does, she'll have to be a guard like her mom," Mulligan said. "There's not a lot of height in the family."

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