There was no stopping junior guard Asia Avinger of Fullerton Rosary on Friday night in the CIF state championship Division I girls’ basketball final at Golden 1 Center.
From the outset, she was in attack mode. She finished with 24 points while making nine of 11 free throws to help Rosary defeat Oakland Bishop O’Dowd 75-58.
“We had a big surge from Asia to start the game and followed it,” coach Richard Yoon said.
Rosary (27-8) went 0-3 during the Southern Section Open Division pool playoffs but was unstoppable in the Division I state playoffs. Savannah Felix added 16 points, making eight of 11 shots. Rosary made its first 13 free throws and finished 16 of 19.
“We didn’t want her to get into a rhythm and she got into a rhythm,” Bishop O’Dowd coach Malik McCord said of Avinger.
It was a helpless feeling for Riverside Ramona coach Brandon Fletcher as he tried just about everything trying to cool off Caruthers in the first half in the Division V girls’ final.
Caruthers made 12 of its first 15 shots and was five of five from three-point range in an NBA arena.
“That was maybe one of the most perfect halves of basketball I’ve seen,” Fletcher said.
The Blue Raiders built a 42-11 lead at halftime and cruised to a 62-38 victory. Caruthers, which is 15 miles south of Fresno, brought more than 250 students to the game on charter buses.
“It’s a big deal,” coach Anna Almeida said. “Our community rallies around kids.”
Lizbeth Garcia led Ramona (23-13) with 15 points, including four three-pointers. Ramona outscored Caruthers 27-20 in the second half.
“This group has been an absolute joy to coach,” Fletcher said. “The end result doesn’t define our journey. In the second half we talked about representing ourselves well, and we did.”
Said Garcia: “It was really a great experience to play one last game after all we’ve done.”
Jaque Magana scored 13 points and Felicia Ramirez 12 for Caruthers (32-4), which left town last Sunday for the regional final in Eureka and has been on the road ever since.
“I’ve been babysitting 19 children since Sunday. I’m exhausted,” Almeida said.