LA CAÑADA — Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy basketball player Kysa Hayashi took it upon herself to lift her team to a league win against visiting Marymount.
The junior sat out for much of the second quarter in foul trouble as she saw the Sailors pull away from the Tologs.
Hayashi put up nine points in the fourth quarter to cut the deficit to nine points, but Marymount hung on to win, 56-41, as Flintridge Sacred Heart fell at home in its return to the Sunshine League.
“We know that they’re a good team,” Flintridge Sacred Heart coach Ty Buxman said. “You always want to win to open up league, you just have to turn it around and get them back the next time.”
The Tologs (14-5) trailed, 49-28, to start the final quarter, but a pair of Hayashi three-pointers early in the fourth quarter sparked a 12-0 run to cut the deficit to 49-40 with 3:30 left.
“I felt like I had to finally take over because my teammates did enough when I had three fouls,” Hayashi said. “I had to take over because they had so much responsibility in the beginning because I was out.”
Hayashi finished with a team-high 14 points, but the Tologs struggled scoring early on despite outrebounding the Sailors, 13-6, with six offensive rebounds.
Both teams had a hard time shrugging off each other as the teams posted seven turnovers each in the first quarter.
Through it all, the Tologs were able to come out of the first period with a 6-4 lead.
“The press didn’t really bother us,” Buxman said. “It’s a press and it takes energy to get through it, but it didn’t really bother us that much. We didn’t really have that many turnovers, it was more of the defensive lapse in the second quarter where all of a sudden we lose focus for a little bit.”
The Sailors (16-4, 3-0 in league) flipped the script in the second quarter and started hitting shots after making only one field goal out of 14 attempts in the first quarter.
A layup with 3:58 left in the first half set up the Sailors on a 14-0 run before Tologs junior Janna de Vera nailed a three-pointer with 43 seconds left to trim the deficit to 28-17.
“For our team, it’s more of the mental focus,” Buxman said. “Can we get everyone locked in and just amp up the speed a little bit? [Put] some pressure on defense, get those rotations down and start looking up. When we start looking up and running, we’re ok.”
The Tologs were able to pull within 10 with 3:10 left in the third quarter, but Marymount again embarked on a scoring run, this time a 10-0 clip, to finish the quarter with a 49-28 lead.
“I feel like we’re all able to do it, but they just make mistakes,” Hayashi said. “They just lose focus and become mentally weak and then we just break, so that’s when we start losing a lot.”