Pacifica Christian girls’ basketball beats Temple City for first CIF title

Pacifica Christian's Jamie MacKay (15) scores underneath the basket against Temple City on Saturday.
Pacifica Christian’s Jamie MacKay (15) scores underneath the basket in the first quarter against Temple City in the CIF Southern Section Division 4A girls’ basketball final on Saturday.
(James Carbone)

From heartbreak to hopes fulfilled, the Pacifica Christian Orange County High School girls’ basketball team has experienced both extremes of the spectrum over the past eight months.

The Tritons returned to the CIF Southern Section finals, and this time, Pacifica Christian walked away with its first title in program history.

Addison Deal scored a game-high 25 points to lead the top-seeded Tritons to a 69-44 victory over host Temple City on Saturday in the Division 4A championship game.

“It means so much to me,” Deal, a freshman guard, said of helping the Tritons reverse their fortunes in the CIF finals. “I definitely came to this school with that in mind, and we had so many key pieces. Everyone on our team really is an impact to this team. We wouldn’t be the same without every single one of these people.”

Lauryn Ham had 14 points, including a trio of three-pointers for Pacifica Christian (25-5), which has won 17 games in a row. Annika Jiwani added 11 points and four rebounds. Jamie MacKay stuffed the stat sheet with 10 points, 14 rebounds, six steals and five assists.

“It’s a true testament to the kind of people we have on this team,” MacKay said. “You have true teammates, true warriors. Every single person on this team cares about everyone else, and such a unique way [to get here]. To lose in the finals [last season] and to come all the way here is just something that’s truly amazing. I wouldn’t want to do it with any other team.”

Against a taller Tritons team that looked to run in the open floor, Temple City (21-8) exhibited the sensational ball movement necessary to break the press and then create shots for themselves in the first half.

Pacifica Christian threatened to run away with the game by stretching its lead to 14 points multiple times before the break. Tallulah Trieu made the extra pass behind the arc into the corner for Kristi Huynh, whose three-pointer cut the lead to 28-19 with 50 seconds on the clock in the second quarter, the first time the margin had been cut to single digits in nearly five minutes of play.

Deal had other ideas, though, closing the half with five points in the final 41 seconds, including a three-point play with seven seconds left in the period.

Hustle allowed the Tritons to pull away early in the third quarter. Mackay scored off an offensive rebound to make it 38-19. Less than a minute later, Deal’s pullup three-pointer following a steal had extended the Pacifica Christian advantage to 44-20.

The Tritons demolished their competition on the way to the final, winning three home games by an average of 56.7 points. After a first-round bye, Pacifica Christian defeated Riverside Ramona, Los Angeles Sacred Heart and Los Angeles Shalhevet to earn a return trip to the CIF finals.

In the previous CIF finals appearance, Pacifica Christian was upset by Woodland Hills Louisville 57-49 at home. That section final was played under James Parker. Pacifica Christian athletic director Brandon Gonzalez said the school decided to part ways with Parker midseason, installing Chyanne Butler as the interim head coach of the Tritons prior to a tournament in Arizona.

Butler’s players expressed admiration for their coach after the game. She received a technical foul in the second half with her team comfortably ahead, and her team appreciated her willingness to fight for them, no matter the score.

Ava Carter had five points and five rebounds for the Tritons. Nola Mihaly-Garvin had two points and five rebounds, and Charis Wondercheck had two points and a blocked shot.

Trieu had a team-high 14 points, four rebounds and three assists for the Rams. Chelsea Lee added 11 points, five rebounds and five assists.

This is a developing story and will be updated.


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