CdM relies on its big plan to beat Beckman


When a pair of teams with contrasting styles meet on the basketball court, pace is often what determines the victor.

Corona del Mar’s girls team likely won’t beat Beckman in a relay race anytime soon, but Tuesday night, size proved to be more important than speed.

Sea Kings 6-foot-4 center Natalia Bruening notched a game-high 17 points, and frontcourt mate Krista Anderson added 14, as CdM dominated the paint and outlasted visiting Beckman, 53-47, in a Pacific Coast League game.

“I thought we played really hard,” Sea Kings coach Mark Decker said. “I don’t know how well we played. There were some moments where we did what we wanted to do, but there’s still a lot of room for improvement.”

CdM’s game plan called for a controlled tempo, feeding the ball to their bigs in the post, with the thought that efficient offense would allow the team time to get back down court to set up its defense.

Early on, Beckman (11-7, 1-1) was effective collapsing the painted area when either Bruening or Anderson touched the ball, forcing the Sea Kings (13-3, 2-0) to make open shots from the perimeter. What the Patriots lacked in inches they made up for in effort on the boards, and pushed the pace whenever they were afforded the opportunity.

Knotted 24-24 at the half, the score remained tight at the end of three, with the Sea Kings taking a slim lead, 37-35, into the final eight minutes.

Bruening’s post game accounted for eight points in the fourth, and with teammate Kat Hess (11 points) providing a spark off the bench, the Sea Kings held a nine-point lead down the stretch.

Lili Hama finished with 11 for Beckman.

Also in the Pacific Coast League:

Woodbridge 50, Irvine 28: The Warriors jumped out to a 19-5 lead in the opening eight minutes, and used that cushion to ease past the visiting Vaqueros. Senior guard Sierra Vaglica led the way with a game-high 20 points for Woodbridge. Teammate Anjali Ghadi finished with 19.

In the Sunset League:

No. 8 Huntington Beach 66, Newport Harbor 28: The Oilers earned their ninth win in a row behind double-digit efforts from Samantha Gray (21), Frankie Wade-Sanchez (15) and Kaylyn Nakaji (13).

In nonleague games:

Foothill 87, Yorba Linda 34: Sydney Sharp scored 32 points and Cassidy Stevens added 21 and the two players combined for nine 3-pointers for the host Knights. Foothill, which made 15 3-pointers, outscored the Mustangs, 61-13, in the second and third quarters.

Canyon 67, El Modena 46: Senior point guard Shaye Uyematsu put up a career-high 22 points for the Comanches.

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