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LEONARD ORTIZ , STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Sydney Sharp of Foothill, left, is called for a foul as she blocks a shot by Morgan McMullen of Santa Margarita on Friday.

Santa Margarita fights through adversity, beats Foothill

STAFF WRITER

What Santa Margarita’s girls basketball team lacked in available players, it made up for in effort Friday night.

Tori Anderson, Morgan McMullen and Isabella Maramica each scored 13 points a piece in leading short-handed Santa Margarita past No. 10 Foothill, 50-34, in a nonleague contest at Foothill.

With all four of its preseason losses coming against ranked county opponents, the Eagles (12-4) head into the start of Trinity League play coming off their best win of the season.

“Wow, that was a good one for us,” said Coach Craig DeBusk, who suited up just seven players for the game because two players were battling the flu. “That’s a top-10 team in the county. You come in here – at their place – it’s loud, there’s a good crowd, you just have to play.

“We had some nice pick-and-rolls with Tori and our girls all stepped up.”

After Knights star senior Sydney Sharp drained a 3-pointer to open the game, the Eagles responded moments later with a 3-pointer and never trailed again. Foothill (12-4) didn’t score again in the first quarter.

Santa Margarita smothered Foothill’s outside shooters over the course of the night, limiting the home team to a 6-for-24 shooting effort from beyond the arc.

Sharpe – Orange County’s leading scorer – finished with a season-low 11 points, snapping a four-game streak of notching at least 20 points. She entered Friday’s contest averaging 28 points in her last six outings.

“I know Sydney has got to do a lot for her team, but that girl scored 48 in a game earlier this year,” DeBusk added. “She’s great. We tried to throw the book at her basically. We tried to switch everything, make it hard for her to score.”

Leading 20-18 at the half, Santa Margarita limited Foothill to one field goal in the third quarter, as it did in the first, and took a 31-23 lead into the fourth.

A corner 3-pointer by Maramica was followed by a pair of aggressive drives by Anderson during a 7-0 run that gave the Eagles a 15-point advantage with just over six minutes to play.

“We have a great collection of girls and we don’t really drop off,” DeBusk said. “I like that about our team. We can send one in, and she’ll go right in and replace the other one. We really showed our poise today.”

In the Pacific Coast League:

Corona del Mar 50, Woodbridge 45: Krista Anderson scored 18 points and Natalia Bruening added 14 points to lead the Sea Kings in the league opener at Woodbridge. The teams shared the league title last year.

CdM (12-3, 1-0) trailed by seven points in the third quarter before closing the lead to two points going into the final quarter.

Woodbridge (11-5, 0-1) was led by Anjali Ghadi, who scored 15 points.

“It's nice to beat Woodbridge anywhere; it's a hard place to win,” said Coach Mark Decker.

TIM BURT

Contact the writer: kconnolly@ocregister.com


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