St. Monica defeated Cantwell-Sacred Heart 67-55 away in the CIF Semi-Finals Saturday night in front of a standing room only crowd breaking free of a late fourth quarter tie to solidify the victory and advance to the CIF championship game.
St. Monica Girls Basketball Head Coach John Skinner thought that the game was played in a "tremendous atmosphere" and was proud of the way the Mariners played so well even without star guard Brianna Harris who played less then half the game.
"Harris got into foul trouble early and it severely limited her minutes throughout the game," said Skinner. "She only ended up playing around 12 of the 32 minutes of the game."
The score was tied with around five minutes left in the fourth quarter and that was when the Mariners dug deep going on a 10-0 run out of a Cantwell time-out.
"Cantwell cut the lead back to five, but Harris was able to get things going in the final two minutes," said Skinner. "She hit three big baskets to help seal the victory."
The Mariners were led by a tremendous defensive effort spearheaded by freshman Gloria Scipioni and Sophomore Liyah Lewis who limited Cantwell Sacred Heart's top scorer Priscilla Rodriguez to just nine points.
Harris led the Mariners in scoring with 14 points while forward Melissa Maragnes netted 13 points, 17 rebounds, and four blocks.
"Melissa Maragnes was a tremendous leader," said Skinner. "I am really proud of how she mentally stayed strong throughout the game and was a sign of strength to her teammates."
Scipioni led the Mariners on defense with 12 rebounds and four steals.
According to Skinner, freshman Elena Kostadinov came up with one of her best performances of the year.
Next game for the Mariners is away against St. Paul for the CIF Southenrn Section Girls Basketball Championship Saturday at Mater Dei High School at 5:30 p.m.
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