CORONA DEL MAR — Corona del Mar High girls' basketball Coach Mark Decker knew it would take a big effort to beat Segerstrom on Thursday night, in the semifinals of the CdM Tip-off Tournament.
The effort was there for the Sea Kings.
Fine-tuned, it was not.
CdM turned the ball over 24 times as Segerstrom pulled away in the second half for a 53-43 victory at CdM. The Sea Kings were denied their second straight final appearance in the tournament they co-host with Northwood.
"I was proud of our effort," Decker said. "If we take care of the ball a little bit better, I think it's a different story. We need about 10 less [turnovers] than that. You give us 10 more possessions, it's a different game … Obviously, playing a good team, you've got to make every aspect work."
CdM plays in the tournament third-place game at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Northwood.
The first quarter was back-and-forth until the Jaguars' Ruby Padilla nailed a three-pointer in the closing seconds, giving Segerstrom a 13-11 lead. From then on, CdM was playing from behind. Padilla also caught fire in the third quarter, when she made three straight jumpers and a put-back to help Segerstrom (3-0) extend its advantage to double digits.
Junior Natalie Perales, the girl in the pink shoes, also hurt CdM. She scored a game-high 16 points and had 10 steals. Coach Jeff Watts said his team needed the efforts from Padilla and Perales after his two best players, sophomore Kayla Stephens and senior Vanessa Rea, were in foul trouble for the second straight game.
"I would never want to be guarded by her," Watts said of Perales. "She had seven or eight steals [Wednesday] night too. She gets in those lanes and she's all over the place."
Senior forward Karléh Wilson had 15 points and 15 rebounds for CdM (2-1), which tried to stay in the contest. Sophomore guard Katie Scott nailed a three-pointer from the corner early in the fourth quarter, whittling the Segerstrom lead to 39-33.
Decker pumped his fist. He did not do the same when Segerstrom's Kassie Alvarado answered with a three-pointer of her own, or when Perales followed that with back-to-back steals and layups.
Segerstrom suddenly had a 46-33 lead. Decker instead called timeout.
CdM also hurt itself by making just nine of 20 free throws; Segerstrom converted 12 of 22 from the line.
Senior guard Melanie de Arakal had 11 points for the Sea Kings. Senior forward Jordan Meyers chipped in four points, eight rebounds and three steals.
CdM Tip-off Tournament
Segerstrom 53, Corona del Mar 43
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Segerstrom 13 – 11 – 15 – 14 — 53
CdM 11 – 8 – 11 – 13 — 43
Seg – Perales 16, Padilla 13, Alvarado 6, Stephens 6, Dizon 6, Buford 3, Sakamoto 2, Rea 1.
3-pt. goals – Alvarado 2, Padilla 1.
Fouled out – None.
CdM – Wilson 15, de Arakal 11, Scott 5, Camarillo 4, Meyers 4, Gaughan 3, Coffman 1.
3-pt. goals – de Arakal 2, Scott 1, Gaughan 1.
Fouled out – None.