LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE — Offense was the strong point of the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy girls' basketball team in the first quarter of its Mission League home game against Sherman Oaks Notre Dame.
It ended up being the weak spot for the Tologs in the end, though, as they scored 13 points in the second half and fell to the Knights, 53-39.
The loss extended Sacred Heart's losing streak to six games and dropped its record to 7-13, 0-5 in league.
"I think our intensity wasn't there, it wasn't up tonight," senior captain Nora Welsh said. "There was a different team out there this game. We're very cohesive together and we kind of lost that."
The game started out close, but with the game tied at 7 with 3:40 left in the first quarter, Sacred Heart closed out the quarter on a 7-2 run to go into the second up, 14-9. Lana Haddad scored eight of Sacred Heart's first-quarter points. She finished with a game-high 16 points, eight rebounds and two blocks.
The Tologs' offense came out strong to start the second and extended the lead to 19-11 on a short jumper from Haddad a minute and 15 seconds into the quarter before Notre Dame came charging back with a 12-4 run to tie the game at 23.
The Knights' Katherine Wright scored seven of her team's 12 points during the run and hit a layup with 30 seconds left in the first half to put her team up, 26-25. Dana Budzyn tied the game at 26 going into halftime after hitting one of two free throws with nine seconds left.
The first half was back and forth as there were five lead changes and three ties in the opening 16 minutes, but the Knights took over in the second half.
Notre Dame (13-9, 2-3 in league) retook a 36-28 lead with an eight-point push in the first four minutes of the third quarter. Ivy Fitzgerald brought Sacred Heart back to within six when she hit a corner jumper with 2:40 left in the third, but Notre Dame finished the quarter strong and went into the fourth up, 43-32, after Jessica Fukushima hit two three-pointers in the final minute, including one just before the buzzer.
Offense wasn't easy to come by in the fourth quarter for the Tologs, as they scored seven points in the final eight minutes.
Sacred Heart's second-leading scorer was Maddie Romero with nine points and three steals. Budzyn was the next closest with four points.
"I think the offense broke down," Welsh said. "We just weren't disciplined enough on offense this time. We have strong shooters but our shots weren't falling today and we should've been rebounding harder. We just weren't getting them."
The Knights, on the other hand, were a perfect picture of balance, as Wright (nine rebounds), Fukushima and Georgia Perris finished with 13 points each.
"We need to come together as a team and believe in ourselves," Welsh said. "We have the talent to win games. We just have to come together and trust in each other. The leadership on the court has to be stronger. We have to put ourselves aside and just play basketball like we did in the summer."