Sage Hill girls’ basketball bows out of state playoffs against Mater Dei
The last three seasons have seen the Sage Hill School girls’ basketball team spend a lot of time on the court.
In that timeframe, the Lightning have appeared in two CIF Southern Section finals and advanced to the state playoffs in all three years.
When Sage Hill walked off the court for the last time this season following a 59-44 loss to Mater Dei last week in a CIF State Southern California Regional Open Division first-round game, it was evident that the Lightning were left with a bad taste in their mouth.
“This one’s a little difficult to take,” Sage Hill coach Kerwin Walters said. “I think we set ourselves up to be a legit team next year, and I’m sorry for the people that have to play us next year.”
Between the section and state playoffs, Sage Hill went 2-2 in Open Division postseason competition. Playing in the top tier came on the heels of a CIF Division 3AA title in 2021 and a Division II state title in 2022.
Sophomore guard Addie Deal had 13 points, eight rebounds and three assists to lead Mater Dei (29-4), which also handed Sage Hill a 62-50 defeat in the Matt Denning Nike Hoops Classic on Jan. 14.
“They are the best team right now in Orange County, and rightfully so,” Walters said of Mater Dei. “Next year, they’ll go in as the best team in Orange County. We’re going to test that resolve with everyone next year.”
Junior center Jenessa Cotton had 10 points, eight rebounds and two steals for the Monarchs, whose season ended with a 59-47 loss to Chatsworth Sierra Canyon in the regional semifinals on Saturday. Sophomore guard Shaena Brew also scored 10 points against the Lightning.
“I think Sage Hill has an unbelievable starting five,” Mater Dei coach Kevin Kiernan said. “We have a lot of respect for Sage Hill. … We feel we have better depth, but depth is only good if you can make it work for you. If they’re not getting tired, then our depth means nothing, and their five is against our five all the time, and they probably have an advantage. The depth worked [Wednesday] because the press worked.”
Freshman guard Amalia Holguin scored 13 points to pace Sage Hill (21-10). Junior center Annabelle Spotts contributed 12 points, seven rebounds and four steals. Junior forward Emily Eadie added 11 points, eight rebounds and two steals.
“We had a great season overall,” Spotts said. “We really grew a lot as a team. We’re all returning next year, so we’re going to be even stronger next year and come back and hopefully get a couple more banners.”
Junior guard Zoie Lamkin scored six points, and junior wing Kat Righeimer distributed three assists for the Lightning.
CIF State Southern California Regional Open Division playoffs
Mater Dei 59, Sage Hill 44
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Sage Hill 14 - 9 - 14 - 7 — 44
Mater Dei 17 - 14 - 13 - 15 — 59
SH — Holguin 13, Spotts 12, Eadie 11, Lamkin 6, Righeimer 2.
3-pt. goals — Holguin 3, Eadie 1, Lamkin 1.
Fouled out — None.
Technicals — None.
MD — Deal 13, Brew 10, Vela 5, Wynn 5, Shaw 5, Williams 4, Clark 4, Elisaldez 3.
3-pt. goals — Vela 1, Elisaldez 1, Wynn 1, Shaw 1.
Fouled out — None.
Technicals — None.
Also in the CIF State Southern California Regional girls’ basketball playoffs
Marina 62, West Covina South Hills 47: Rylee Bradley scored a game-high 30 points to go with five rebounds and three steals for the Vikings on Saturday in a Division V regional semifinal game at home.
Sydnie Smith added 15 points and nine rebounds for Marina (20-15), which advanced to a regional final Tuesday at San Pedro.
Marina 49, Cerritos Gahr 33: Rylee Bradley scored 24 points to lead the visiting Vikings past the Gladiators on Thursday in a rematch of the CIF Southern Section Division 5AA semifinals.
Tiana To chipped in with 11 points, eight rebounds and four steals.
San Pedro 62, Laguna Beach 43: Sophie Marriner scored 22 points to go with 11 rebounds, four blocked shots and three steals for the visiting Breakers on Thursday in a Division V regional quarterfinal game.
Sabrina Yang had nine points and 10 rebounds for Laguna Beach (23-11). Kate Cheng added eight points, eight rebounds and three blocks.
Laguna Beach 50, Los Angeles Fremont 20: Sophie Marriner had 18 points, 18 rebounds, six steals and two blocked shots to lead the host Breakers in their opening game of the Division V state playoffs on Feb. 28.
Kate Cheng added 13 points and eight rebounds for Laguna Beach.
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