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STEVEN GEORGES, FOR THE REGISTER
Jessica Salottolo of Orange Lutheran puts her hands on her head as Culver City celebrates behind her in the Centaurs' 42-40 victory.

Culver City makes Orange Lutheran pay

FOR OCVARSITY.COM

CULVER CITY – Taylor Tanita hit a 17-footer at the buzzer Tuesday night to lift Culver City to a 42-40 victory over Orange Lutheran in a CIF-SS Division 2A girls semifinal game at Culver City High.

Orange Lutheran (24-6) made just 1 of 8 free throws in the fourth quarter. And the Lancers saw a slim 38-34 advantage evaporate when Tanita struck from the baseline with 2:44 to go and Shannon Yahn hit 24 seconds later.

"You miss those opportunities, you open the door and they jumped through it," said Orange Lutheran coach Tom Howard.

Orange Lutheran's Abbey Goodsell missed two free throws with 2:07 left, and Sydney Jacobs missed two with 44.4 seconds to go. Culver City worked all but one second off the shot clock before Kelsey Ueda was fouled, and she made both free throws to give the Centaurs a 40-38 edge.

Goodsell answered with a layup to forge a 40-all tie with 8.4 seconds left, but Culver City pushed the ball up the floor and got it into Tanita's hands for an off-balance shot near the baseline.

Both teams shot less than 26 percent in the first half.

"We just were never able to settle into the game, find some rhythm, get some confidence and play like we were capable of," Howard said.

Orange Lutheran took its first lead with 6:44 to go in the third on a layup by Goodsell, making it 21-20, but Culver City responded with an eight-point run.

Orange Lutheran responded with a 9-2 run, capped by Jessica Salottolo's 3-pointer to tie the score at 30-all.

Salottolo and Goodsell led the Lancers with 11 points each.


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