Romero, Haddad earn all-league selections

GLENDALE — Vanessa Romero and Lana Haddad had plenty to juggle when they stepped onto the basketball court this season.

As starters on the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy basketball team, Romero needed to be one of the top shooters and defenders and Haddad was asked to play strong defense and grab her share of rebounds.

Each handled their respective roles well, something the Mission League's six coaches mutually agreed on in naming Romero and Haddad to the all-league team.

Romero, a senior guard, earned a spot on the first team. Haddad, a junior center, was selected to the second team.

"I'm personally happy that they were right there in the mix," said Sacred Heart third-year Coach Gino Pacella, whose team finished 17-12 and 4-6 for fourth place in league before receiving an at-large berth and advancing to the quarterfinals in the CIF Southern Section Division V-AA playoffs.

Romero, who missed a large chunk of last season because of a knee injury after being named to the all-league second team during her sophomore season, averaged a team-best 15.6 points per game this season. Romero finished her career with 1,068 points.

Romero also averaged 3.4 assists and 2.9 steals per game.

"I put Vanessa up for league MVP because she led the league in scoring," said Pacella, who has guided the Tologs to three playoff appearances in a row. "She struggled going into league, but once she got there, she proved herself.

"She had games in league where she scored more than 20 points several times and she led our team throughout the year in three-pointers. She just did a lot for the team."

Haddad averaged 13.4 points and 10.8 rebounds per game for the Tologs, who saw their playoff journey come to a close against top-seeded St. Bernard.

Pacella said Haddad, who blocked 25 shots, grew more comfortable throughout the season on both ends of the court.

"Lana was definitely a big surprise for us," Pacella said. "We saw flashes of what she could do last year.

"She got a lot of double-doubles this season and there's a lot of upside for her going into next year. She's going to be a huge part of our team next year. With a little more strength and conditioning, she can be a force."

Annie Tarakchian of Chaminade was named the league's most valuable player after helping the Eagles share the league title with Harvard-Westlake.

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