Despite having the best overall record of three teams tied for second place in the Orange League girls' basketball race, Magnolia needed a 38-31 victory over Valencia in a third-place playoff game Friday to earn the league's final playoff berth.
Magnolia (17-7) outscored Valencia, 18-1, from the foul line; the Sentinels were 18 for 26; the Tigers were one for seven. Magnolia's Andrea Picchi scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, and Stacy Tewell was scoreless but added 14 rebounds to prevent Valencia (8-16) from taking advantage of its superior height.
LaQuinta Alexander scored a team-high 11 points for Valencia; Shelly Gamba's second three-point basket of the fourth quarter tied the score, 26-26, with six minutes left, but Magnolia went on a 12-2 run before Gamba made her final three-pointer.
Magnolia, Western (12-9) and Valencia were tied with 6-4 league records.
In the Academy League:
Connelly 47, Liberty Christian 46 (OT)--Georgina Cervantes had 19 points, 11 rebounds and the game-winning basket at the buzzer for Connelly (7-9, 5-4). Cervantes grabbed an offensive rebound and scored as time ran out. Lynlee Vaccaro had 16 points for Liberty Christian (10-9, 2-7).
St. Margaret's 54, Capistrano Valley Christian 42--Jean Freeman's 24 points helped St. Margaret's (8-8, 5-4) to a second-place finish in league and a playoff berth.
In the Express League:
Harbor City Gateway 33, Heritage Christian 20--Brandy Cannon had 12 points for league champion Gateway (14-1 in league). Israel Green had eight points for Heritage Christian (6-14, 5-9).