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Prep baketball: SCCS finishes

Cardinals girls move on to first round

Posted: February 16, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: February 16, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Santa Clarita Christian’s Taylor Cubas (11) dribbles through the pressure of St. Monica’s Deanna Shahverdian (4) and Rosario Miranda, right, at SCCS on Tuesday.

It may have taken all four quarters, but eventually Santa Clarita Christian School girls basketball went back to what got it here in the first place.

Taking care of the ball and attacking the basket with point guard Taylor Cubas.

She scored 11 of her game-high 21 points in the final period to lift the Cardinals over St. Monica Academy of Pasadena 38-32 at SCCS in the wild-card round of the CIF-Southern Section Division VIA playoffs.

The Cardinals did it despite committing 38 turnovers and trailing 27-23 after three quarters of play.

“In the fourth quarter, we finally started playing,” said SCCS head coach Troy Best. “We made our layup and got to the basket a lot better.”

On top of that, SCCS (8-12) began limiting St. Monica’s aggressive style on the other end.

The Crusaders (9-7) took control early with their up-tempo, trigger-happy offense, which led to a 6-0 lead in the opening four minutes.

Plagued by unforced errors, the Cardinals struggled to keep pace, so instead they tried their best to get back into the game at the free-throw line.

SCCS took its first lead, 17-15, at the 2:00 mark of the second quarter after a Michelle Fechtelkotter layup.

She finished with eight points and 10 rebounds, and SCCS led 19-17 at halftime.

But the lead didn’t last long, as St. Monica once again went on a scoring run, this time 7-0, which helped it open up a 24-19 lead.

“I think it was a mixture of nerves and not being ready to play for some reason,” said Cubas, who also had seven assists and four steals in the game.

St. Monica did a lot of its scoring due to a mass of shooting throughout, usually early in the shot clock.

The Crusaders took 72 shots in the game, but made just 14 of them.

Down 27-23 headed into the last frame, the Cardinals finally started stopping the ball and slowing down their quick-shooting opponents.

“It might have been a little fatigue,” said St. Monica head coach Richard Craighead of the fourth quarter. “The ball handling got mishandled a little bit, but other than that, I’m ecstatic with our performance today.”

Sophomore Deanna Shahverdian led the Crusaders with nine points, but it was all Cubas in the closing minutes.

Her three-point play put the Cardinals up 30-27 at the 5:49 mark, and this time, the lead was for good.

SCCS will travel to face the No. 5 seed, Lake Arrowhead Christian, on Saturday in the first round of the playoffs.

“I don’t know much about them, but I know if we play like we did today, we’ll lose by 20,” Cubas said of the matchup.


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