Anna Mumm of Laguna Hills and Canyon's Julia Tims battle for the rebound during Saturday's O.C. North/South Challenge game at Dana Hills High School.

Dana Hills rallies to knock off Los Alamitos


Girls basketball.

Dana Hills played host to the first Orange County North vs. South Challenge and the Dolphins didn't do themselves any favors by scheduling No. 9 Los Alamitos for the seven-game girls basketball showcase.

The unranked Dolphins (3-7) withstood an early barrage of 3-pointers from the Griffins (9-3) and rallied from a 12-point deficit in the first quarter to pull off a 58-55 upset Saturday night at Dana Hills High.

"We got down 10, 11 and we had a bad habit of letting that get to us and bury us, but instead of letting it happen we called a timeout, we talked about it and we decided we were going to come out and play harder than them, and I think that was the difference," said Dolphins coach Rob Cullinan, who also coaches the boys team at Dana Hills.

"We came down and played harder than them, and really took care of the basketball, and then went to the glass hard and finished. It kind of changed the momentum of the game in our favor."

Senior forward Katie Underwood, who had 14 rebounds, scored 23 of her game-high 27 points in the first half to help the Dolphins claw their way back. Dana Hills had cut Los Alamitos' lead to 31-30 by halftime.

Freshman guard Maddy Bloom scored 15 of her 21 points in the second half to carry the Dolphins across the finish line. Bloom's transition layup off a long pass from Serena Saba tied it, 49-49, with 5:04 left. Bloom's 3-pointer gave Dana Hills it's first lead at 52-50 with 4:12 remaining.

Emily Jaimerena was fouled attempting a 3-pointer and knocked down all three free throws to push the lead to 55-50 with 2:37 remaining, and the Dolphins held on.

"I think what it really comes down to for us is we've played good, solid teams and continued to get better and believe in ourselves," Cullinan said. "I think the biggest contributing factor was the fact that we rebounded defensively tonight the best we have all year long.

"Obviously, when you take care of the defensive glass it gives you more opportunities on the offensive end. And we have not been shooting well from the floor. I'm talking simple layups and not only were we making simple layups, we were making contested, hard shots tonight and playing within ourselves. They kind of came together tonight."

In other O.C. North vs. South Challenge games:

Laguna Hills 59, Canyon 40: Maddy Ziering-Smith had 22 points, eight assists and five steals, and Taylor Messick had 16 points and eight boards to help the 10th-ranked Hawks (10-2) knock off the Comanches (6-5), who have dropped four in a row.

Westminster 68, Tesoro 45: Azusa Pacific-bound Maggie Dumphy scored 18 points and Chyann Pendergrass made four 3-pointers and finished with 16 points as the Lions (9-1) defeated the Titans (6-5).

San Juan Hills 41, Loara 34: Abby Conklin had 18 points, eight rebounds, three steals and three assists to lead the Stallions (9-5) past the Saxons (7-5).

Capistrano Valley 60, Corona del Mar 46: Elizabeth Maass scored 16 points, Tara Casey scored 14 points and Nikole Delarosa scored 10 points and all three had two 3-pointers to give the Cougars (6-6) the victory over the Sea Kings (5-6).

Northwood 47, Mission Viejo 35: Danielle Munson scored 13 points and Tracie Hara had 11 points to help the Timberwolves (10-1) take care of the Diablos (4-7) for their 10th consecutive victory.

University 45, El Toro 26: Melodie Yu's 15 points helped the Trojans (8-3) take care of the Chargers (5-8).

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