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Wade-Sanchez leads Oilers into title game
Frankie Wade-Sanchez scored 22 points and had six rebounds to carry Huntington Beach past Esperanza, 42-29, in a CIF-SS Division 1A semifinal Saturday night on the Aztecs’ court.
The 6-foot-1 point forward, a skilled player on the perimeter who can also mix it up inside, made 8 of 14 field-goal attempts including 3 of 4 3-pointers and was 3 of 5 at the foul line.
“Frankie is our leader, our go-to player,” Huntington Beach coach Russell McClurg said.
Huntington Beach (22-7) will meet Bishop Montgomery of Torrance in the championship game next weekend. The day and venue haven’t been determined.
The Oilers double teamed Esperanza’s 6-1 sophomore center, Samantha Fries, almost every time she touched the ball. Fries, guarded primarily by 6-1 freshman Xolani Hodel, attempted seven field goals, making three. Huntington Beach sent her to the free throw line for 11 shots and she made three.
“We made sure we stayed in front of Fries,” McClurg said. “Hodel brings incredible athleticism to the game.
“We played our best defensive game of the season.”
Amanda Williams, a 5-7 senior guard, led Esperanza (26-4) with 10 points. She was 4 of 10 from the field including 1 of 2 on 3-pointers.
Esperanza was 12 of 37 percent from the field and 4 of 15 at the foul line. The Aztecs were 1 of 10 on 3-pointers.
Wade-Sanchez scored the final six points of the first quarter to boost the Oilers to an 11-4 lead. She opened the second with a 15-foot jumper.
Esperanza cut its deficit to 14-12 on a 3-pointer by Williams, but Wade-Sanchez responded with a 3-pointer from the top of the key and a step-back 23-foot 3-pointer to boost Huntington Beach’s advantage to 22-14 at the half.
The Aztecs opened the third quarter with back-to-back baskets by Fries and Jamie Kwong to trail 22-18.
Huntington Beach scored the next eight points for a 30-18 lead.
In Division 2AA:
Rosary 58, JSerra 38: The visiting Royals (24-5) relied on their outside shooting and defense in the paint to beat their Trinity League rivals for the third time this season.
Rosary will take on Camarillo in the championship game next week at a site to be determined.
Rosary set the tone with five 3-pointers in the first quarter and finished with 12.
“We really shot the ball well tonight,” Rosary coach Richard Yoon said. “We were really focused. We really wanted it.”
Points didn’t come easy for JSerra, mostly because of Rosary’s 6-foot-3 center, Becky Obinma, who had six blocks and grabbed 13 rebounds.
“Becky is the difference in the middle for our defense,” Yoon said. “When she is in, it’s hard to get a layup.”
The Royals led 19-13 after the first quarter and then held the Lions to seven points in the second. Rosary entered halftime with a 13-point lead. In the third quarter, Rosary held JSerra to just six points.
Rosary’s Allie Iannone hit four 3-pointers and led all scorers with 14 points, and teammate Allison Lou scored 12 points, all on 3-pointers.
Lexi Vail and Kabreah Anderson scored 12 and 10 points, respectively, to lead the Lions.