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PAUL RODRIGUEZ , STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
El Dorado's Brooke Salas, center, is fouled as she drives to the basket between Santa Margarita's Catie Woodward, left, and Isabella Maramica, right, to take a shot in the CIF Southern California Division III Regional playoff on Saturday.

El Dorado muscles way into semifinals

STAFF WRITER

It was just Wednesday evening when El Dorado’s girls basketball team put up a season-high 80 points.

Brooke Salas dropped 26 that night, and Jaylin Jones had 21 points to lead the way.

With that duo at the forefront, offense has come relatively easy for the Golden Hawks at times this year. Saturday night was not one of those instances, however.

Struggling to hit shots, El Dorado turned to its defense against Santa Margarita. The Golden Hawks’ forced the Eagles into committing 22 turnovers, fueling a 40-27 victory at home in the CIF Division III Southern California Regionals quarterfinals.

El Dorado improved to 26-8 with the victory, while Santa Margarita ended at 19-15.

The Golden Hawks advance to Tuesday night’s semifinals where they’ll play a familiar foe in North Torrance (29-2). The Saxons edged out El Dorado just over a week ago in the Southern Section Division 3AA finals, 51-50, in overtime.

“Hopefully they’re ready for a rematch,” Golden Hawks coach Wayne Carlson said. “North Torrance is going to be very tough obviously. We had a good game in the finals against them. We get a chance to play them again, so it’ll be good. A little harder this time since it’s over at their gym.”

Jones (12), Salas (10) and Jennifer Ventura (11) finished in double figures. Ventura scored all of her points in the first half, giving El Dorado a 29-14 advantage at the intermission.

The Golden Hawks stretched that lead to 38-17 headed into the fourth, limiting the Eagles to just one field goal by Isabella Maramica in the third quarter.

While nine players scored for Santa Margarita, Catie Woodward and Taylor Donohue finished as the team’s leading scorers with five points apiece.

El Dorado’s 40 points was its lowest output of the season.

Also in Division III:

Orange Lutheran 37, Corona del Mar 24: Leading by one after the first quarter, the Lancers locked down defensively and limited the Sea Kings to just five points over the second and third quarters.

Orange Lutheran forward Gloria Bates led all scorers with 14 points. Natalia Bruening finished with 10 for CdM. No other Sea Kings player scored more than three points however.

Brea Olinda 66, South Hills of West Covina 49: Trailing by one point at halftime, the top-seeded Ladycats overwhelmed the visiting Huskies in the third and fourth quarters en route to the semifinal berth.

Junior guard Reili Richardson led Brea with 25 points, while freshman Tyiona Watkins added 24 points and 12 rebounds. The Ladycats will host Orange Lutheran in Tuesday night’s semis.

In Division IV:

Fairmont Prep 59, View Park Prep of Los Angeles 53: Senior guard Samantha Clement finished with a game-high 20 points and the Huskies overcame a slim fourth-quarter deficit to advance to the regional semis. Fairmont Prep will play top-seeded Sierra Canyon on Tuesday night after the Trailblazers defeated JSerra, 54-43, on Saturday.

Contact the writer: kconnolly@ocregister.com


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