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High School

Girls’ basketball: Palisades, El Camino Real advance to City Section Open Division final

Chaniya Pickett

Palisades point guard Chaniya Pickett gets past Legacy defenders for a layup Saturday night.

(Craig Weston)

Palisades and El Camino Real won their City Section Open Division semifinals on Saturday at Roybal to advance to next Saturday’s 6 p.m. girls’ final at Cal State Dominguez Hills.

It’s rare to hear Palisades Coach Torino Johnson scream, “Nice.” But he was a very happy coach in the third quarter when his team went on a 12-0 run en route to a 79-39 win over Legacy.

Kayla Merrill-Gillett finished with 21 points and Chelsey Gipson had 14 for Palisades (23-8), the defending Open Division champs who avenged an early season loss to Legacy.

El Camino Real (24-8) received a huge performance from sophomore Kianna Hamilton-Fisher to defeat West Valley League rival Granada Hills, 43-38. Hamilton-Fisher scored 17 points, including a key three-pointer late in the fourth quarter.

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Renard Beavers, filling in for co-coach Cara Blumfield, who has been away on maternity leave, was thrilled with the way Hamilton-Fisher stepped up under pressure.

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