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Santa Margarita Press Can’t Stop Bishop Amat

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Santa Margarita tried a continuous full-court press to neutralize La Puente Bishop Amat’s height advantage, but the Lancers proved to be capable ballhandlers and won, 56-49, Saturday in a Southern Section Division II-A girls’ basketball semifinal at Irvine Valley.

“I thought our press would bother them more, but their point guard did a better job than I thought,” Santa Margarita Coach Richard Schaaf said. “I just thought we’d get more turnovers and we didn’t.”

Once past midcourt, top-seeded Bishop Amat took full advantage of 6-4 center Shannon Wosman, lobbing the ball above a swarm of Santa Margarita defenders, who were at least six inches shorter. Wosman, who will play for Loyola Marymount next season, finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds.

The Lancers (24-3), who advanced to their first title game, also got a strong performance from senior guard Allison Box, who scored 21 points.

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Fourth-seeded Santa Margarita (20-10) trailed by only two points at the half, despite missing 21 of 27 shots. Colleen O’Leary’s three-pointer early in the third quarter gave Santa Margarita its first lead, 24-23, and the Eagles moved ahead by five on another O’Leary three-pointer with 4 minutes 10 seconds left in the quarter. But three minutes later Bishop Amat was back ahead.

Santa Margarita tied the score three times in the fourth quarter, but made only one of its last 10 shots, while Bishop Amat made seven of 10 free throws. Santa Margarita junior Venessa Ferragamo had 16 points, but was held scoreless in the fourth quarter.

“At the end there, we probably didn’t have the girls shooting the ball that we should have had shooting the ball,” Schaaf said.


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