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GIRLS’ BASKETBALL PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE ROUNDUP : University Rolls Past No. 10 Estancia

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The University girls’ basketball team is a favorite to win the Pacific Coast League title, but despite an 8-4 record going into the league opener with Estancia, Coach Bob Bernal didn’t think the Trojans were playing particularly well.

That assessment may change after a 53-46 victory against 10th-ranked Estancia on Thursday at University.

Bernal got solid work from forward Monique Mathews, who scored eight of her game-high 18 points in the fourth quarter; 12 points and a key block in the final minute by guard Taylor Stokes, and a crucial three-pointer by guard Raschelle Lawrence that put University ahead, 50-46, with 32 seconds to play.

Just as crucial to the success of the Trojans (9-4, 1-0) was a 2-3 matchup zone to contain Estancia guard Jessica Waltz, who scored 11 points but had trouble penetrating the University defense. Karla Dominguez led Estancia with 14 points.

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“That’s the first time this season we’ve played a zone,” Bernal said. “We hadn’t been playing good man-to-man defense; maybe I haven’t been teaching a good man-to-man.”

The Trojans also were hurt by the loss of freshman guard Natasha Combs, who informed the coaching staff Thursday that the travel to and from University had become a hardship.

“That hurts our depth,” said Bernal, who added that he understood Combs is planning to transfer to Capistrano Valley. “Without her we had to do some different things.”

Estancia (9-3, 0-1) can find plenty of reasons for its downfall. First was free-throw shooting; the Eagles missed 10 of their first 11 attempts--a key reason for their early 18-9 advantage evaporating into a 21-20 University halftime lead--and they finished only six for 17.

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In other league games:

Costa Mesa 66, Laguna Beach 35--Corri Lurmann scored a game-high 19 points to lead the Mustangs (11-4, 1-0). Teammate Koo Kim added 15. Brandy Boyce scored 10 points to lead the Artists (3-10, 0-1).

Laguna Hills 49, Aliso Niguel 32--Tamara Inoue had 20 points and five steals for visiting Laguna Hills (11-3, 1-0), which outscored Aliso Niguel, 26-16, in the first half. Deanna Mitchelson had 17 points for Aliso Niguel (5-9, 0-1).


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