Orange Lutheran girls reach regional final
Orange – Orange Lutheran continued to steamroll through the postseason, pasting Mark Keppel, 66-43, at home to advance to the CIF Division III Southern California Regional final.
The Lancers have won nine in a row with an average margin of victory of 21, and are poised to advance to their third state championship game.
Orange Lutheran (28-6) fell behind 3-0, but thanks to nine first-quarter points from Gloria Bates, the Lancers quickly took the lead and never gave it up.
On defense, Orange Lutheran was focused on slowing down Sophia Song. The Lancers had a defender shadowing her the entire game. Despite the extra attention, Song was the focal point of the Mark Keppel (25-9) offense.
Song finished the first half with 10 points and struggled from the beyond the arc. In the second half, Song found her stroke and made five three-pointers and scored 25 in 16 minutes of clock time.
However, Song made more three-pointers (six) than her teammates made field goals (two).
Orange Lutheran relied on superior ball movement to create open looks from the outside – the Lancers made seven threes – to build up a 13-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Every time the Lancers were about to put even more distance between themselves and the Aztecs, Song would dribble up the floor and nail a pull-up three.
However, once the Aztecs started fouling, which they did with 1:42 left trailing by 12, the Lancers put the game away by making nearly all of their free throws down the stretch.
The Lancers will host Lakeside, which knocked off Norco, 65-46 – for the regional championship Saturday at 6 p.m.