The Corona del Mar High girls’ basketball team spent the holidays across the country playing in the KSA Events Holiday Basketball Tournament in Orlando, FL.
During their stay, the Sea Kings went to Disney World and Universal Orlando two times each.
While the team had more than its fair share of fun, they were exhausted by the end of the trip. Three days after returning home, CdM was back to the hardwood to face Fountain Valley in a Sunset Conference crossover game.
Samantha Uehara had a game-high 19 points to go with five rebounds and three steals, and the Sea Kings staged a second-half comeback to defeat the host Barons 45-42 on Thursday night.
“It’s really important,” Uehara said of the win. “We need to really win the next three games because if we do that, we have a chance to go to CIF. The fact that I’m a senior, this is my last year, I’m just trying to make the best of it.”
CdM improved to 11-9 overall. The Sea Kings will play at Marina (13-7) on Tuesday in another Sunset Conference crossover game. Surf League play begins next Thursday with the Sea Kings remaining on the road to face Edison (8-9).
The Sea Kings won a critical nonleague game the hard way after senior center Tatiana Bruening picked up three fouls in just four minutes in the first half.
Alara Ersu gave CdM its first lead of the game with a pair of free throws to make it 34-33 with 3:35 left in the third quarter. She had 11 rebounds, but she was just one of several to make an impact for the Sea Kings as a rebounder.
Sophie Beador had nine points and nine rebounds, and Trasara Alexander also had 10 rebounds and three steals.
“Every game counts for us,” Sea Kings coach Brason Alexander said. “In the beginning, we started with injuries and sickness, and we play in a great league, so they all count.
“I was just happy that our kids grinded it out. It wasn’t the prettiest thing, but they just kept calm and kept playing.”
Upon her return to the game in the second half, Bruening salvaged her evening with six points, six rebounds and five blocked shots.
Fountain Valley started strong, with freshman center Zoe Ziegler scoring five of her seven points in the first quarter. She added four rebounds and two blocks.
Megan Lai scored a team-high 14 points for the Barons (10-9). She made four of Fountain Valley’s seven three-pointers. Margaret Tengan added nine points, seven rebounds and three assists.
Fountain Valley twice closed its deficit to one point in the fourth quarter, but the Barons dropped to 0-4 this season in games decided by one possession.
“It was a great game,” Barons coach Marianne Karp said. “I’m super proud of my kids because they don’t quit. They keep at it. We’ve seen that against Santa Fe. You saw it here tonight.
“They don’t quit, but we’ve got to find a way to finish a game.”
Corona del Mar 45, Fountain Valley 42
SCORE BY QUARTERS
CdM 12 – 11 – 15 – 7 — 45
FV 15 – 10 – 10 – 7 — 42
CdM – Uehara 19, Beador 9, Bruening 6, Ersu 5, Tomlinson 4, Alexander 2
3-pt. goals – Uehara 2, Beador 2.
Fouled out – None.
Technicals – None.
FV – Lai 14, M. Tengan 9, Ziegler 7, Luu 6, Hasegawa 6.
3-pt. goals – Lai 4, Hasegawa 2, M. Tengan 1.
Fouled out – None.