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Rosary players cheer their victory in the final seconds of the game. Rosary was playing Leuzinger in the semifinals of the CIF Southern California Division III regional playoffs in Fullerton, CA on Tuesday, March 14, 2017. (Photo by Bill Alkofer,Orange County Register/SCNG)

Rosary extends exciting ride with win over Leuzinger

STAFF WRITER

FULLERTON – Moments after the postgame handshakes, Richard Yoon was headed toward the team locker room when the Rosary coach was chased down and pounced on by his three exuberant young children, all wanting to give dad a congratulatory hug after another big win.

The Royals' exciting ride toward a girls basketball state championship continued Tuesday night as four players finished in double figures, which helped them build an early double-digit lead, and Rosary kept visiting Leuzinger at an arm’s length throughout its 63-46 win in the CIF Southern California Regional Division III semifinal at Rosary High.

The top-seeded Royals (28-5) secured their spot in Saturday night’s regional championship game with their third consecutive double-digit victory. Rosary will play sixth-seeded Serra of San Diego (23-10) at a site to be determined. Serra upset second-seeded Camarillo in the other Division III semifinal, preventing a rematch of the CIF-SS 2AA final that went into overtime.

Operating out of the high post against Leuzinger’s 2-3 zone, Rosary senior Camille Lira scored a game-high 18 points, gashing the soft spots of the Olympians zone. Rebekah Obinma scored 12 of her 13 points in the first half and grabbed 17 rebounds. Freshman Kate Goostrey notched 13 points and came away with six steals while pestering Leuzinger’s backcourt. Alli Ianone added 12 points.

“We’ve got to establish the low post first, that’s been the key to our success,” Yoon said. “We loved the way we played in the first quarter. Defensively, we took away their best player (Brooke Scott) and thought we did a great job containing.”

Averaging better than 23 points per game in her last three outings, Rosary held Scott scoreless on Tuesday night.

The Royals jumped out to a 19-9 lead after the first quarter, and led by 18 at the half as 14 of their 24 free throw attempts came in the opening 16 minutes.

Karlie Davis led Leuzinger (25-11) with 18 points. Her jumper with 2:15 to play in the third cut the Rosary lead to nine points. The Royals responded with a 17-4 run over the ensuing five minutes, sealing the game midway through the fourth.

Contact the writer: kconnolly@scng.com


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