A quick start and a quicker ending spurred Buena High to a 60-32 victory over San Diego Poway High on Tuesday night in the first round of the State Division I girls' basketball tournament.
The Bulldogs (24-3) began the game with a 15-2 run. After Poway pulled to within 38-28 on a three-point buzzer-beating basket by April Hatch at the end of the third quarter, Buena outscored Poway 22-4 in the final quarter.
"When April came up with that shot, it was a momentum thing," Buena coach Joe Vaughan said. "I told the kids that we had to jump on them right off the bat to keep them from getting more momentum."
Vaughan's players got the message. Kori Sebek made a three-point basket to start a run of eight consecutive Bulldog points. Eboni Conley's steal and layup finished the spurt to make it a 46-28 game with 5:10 to play.
After Poway's last basket with 3:23 to play, the Bulldogs scored the final 12 points.
Buena meets second-seeded Clovis West in Thursday's Southern California semifinals.
"Whoever we have to play, we'll be ready for," said Sebek, one of three Bulldogs to score 11 points.
Buena was ready for third-seeded Poway, the Division I champion of the San Diego Section.
The Bulldogs scored the first eight points and never trailed.
Buena didn't allow Poway (21-7) to score until the game was more than four minutes old. The lead was 15-2 just 5:22 into the game after Stephanie Kinnear's 12-foot jumper. The Bulldogs' press forced nine Poway turnovers in the quarter.
Poway pulled to within 17-13 with just over six minutes remaining in the half before Buena's Rachel Buck scored five consecutive points to rebuild the Bulldogs' lead to nine.