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As Mater Dei Clamps Down, Alemany Coughs It Up, 77-62

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The Alemany High girls’ basketball team could not break the press.

And, as a result, the Indians broke down.

Despite a well-played first half, Alemany fell to Mater Dei, 77-62, in a nonleague game Saturday night at L.A. Baptist.

Alemany (9-5) broke Mater Dei’s full-court press effortlessly in the first half en route to a 33-19 halftime lead.

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But the second half was a different story.

Alemany, which committed only seven turnovers in the first half, committed seven in the third quarter and 11 in the fourth.

Mater Dei (11-2) turned the turnovers into easy baskets and scored 58 points in the second half.

“We didn’t handle the pressure well,” said Alemany Coach Melissa Hearlihy. “We turned the ball over a couple times getting nervous and that’s how they got back into it.”

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The game was hauntingly similar to last season’s meeting, in which Mater Dei overturned a 19-point fourth-quarter deficit and won by three.

“Same thing last year,” said Mater Dei guard Melody Peterson, who scored 28 points, 21 in the second half. “We knew we were a better team and when we get fired up, nobody can stop us.”

The Indians were stopped by foul trouble.

Peterson, who will attend Stanford, drew foul after foul on drives through the lane.

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Alemany’s starting frontcourt had fouled out with 4 minutes 57 seconds left.

Carly Funicello, who will attend UCLA, was the last remaining frontcourt starter until she hacked Ronny Gondringer.

Funicello, who finished with 10 points and nine rebounds, was not disappointed.

“We played well the first half,” she said. “We got a little nervous when they went on a roll, but we hung with a very good team.”

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Gondringer finished with 30 points for Mater Dei, which made the best of a fourth quarter filled with free-throw shooting.

The Monarchs made 18 of 24 free throws in the final quarter, while Alemany made only nine of 21 foul shots.

The Indians made almost everything they shot in the first half.

Jessica Bell scored 12 of her 14 points in the second quarter, most on transition layups, and the Indians made 15 of 27 shots (55.6%.)

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Conversely, Mater Dei converted only seven of 23 shots (30.4%) in the first half.


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