San Clemente's Frankie Pinto shoots the ball during a game at Orange Lutheran High School on Monday.

Orange Lutheran clamps down on San Clemente


Orange Lutheran's girls basketball team has played a grueling schedule, and like many teams around the county, has had to deal with injuries and illnesses at this point in the season.

The No. 5 Lancers' quick start en route to a 44-26 victory over No. 6 San Clemente in the Tony Matson Memorial Classic on Monday night at Orange Lutheran High came as a welcome relief to Lancers coach Tom Howard.

"We've had a long stretch of games," Howard said. "My girls are tired. We've been sick and everybody in the county has been dealing with that from talking to other coaches. But they came out tonight and made a very concerted effort on defense. They played great defense to make them take as tough of shots as possible and then limit them to one shot. That is the biggest reason for our victory today."

Abbey Goodsell and Jessica Salottolo each knocked down 3-pointers during Orange Lutheran's 12-0 run to start the game. The Lancers had an 18-4 lead after one quarter and the Tritons were never able to get back in the game.

It was the Lancers' second victory over the Tritons, who had their four-game winning streak snapped. Orange Lutheran beat San Clemente, 71-47, in the semifinals of the Larry Doyle O.C. Championships on Dec. 28.

"It's always nice to get a good start in a game and take control from the beginning," Howard said. "Fortunately, we were able to do that tonight."

Goodsell finished with two 3-pointers and 13 points and Salottolo had two 3-pointers and 11 points to lead the offense. But Orange Lutheran's defense really shined.

The Lancers (18-3), ranked No. 1 in CIF-SS Division 2A, forced a lot of turnovers, took the Tritons deep into the shot clock, and got a lot of defensive boards. Sydney Jacobs had a team-high 10 rebounds to lead the Lancers and Jami Hahn had eight. Nobody on the Tritons finished in double figures.

"I was most pleased with our defense and our rebounding tonight," Howard said. "We really did a great job on the boards, just battled and fought, limiting them to just one possession."

San Clemente (14-5) is back in action in a South Coast League game against Capistrano Valley on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at San Clemente.

In another Matson Memorial Classic game:

Rosary 55, Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Montebello 46: Samantha Hernandez and Rachel Pau'u scored 12 points apiece and Clara Linhoff added 11 points to help the Royals (13-8) defeat the Cardinals (13-6). Rosary is ranked No. 8 in Division 4AA.

In a nonleague game:

No. 3 JSerra 58, Marlborough of L.A. 36: Coco Miller and Courtney Vaccher scored 18 points apiece and Corinne Bogle chipped in with 12 points as the Lions (17-4) knocked off the visiting Mustangs (11-7) for their sixth consecutive victory. JSerra is ranked No. 4 in Division 4AA.

In the Sunset League:

Huntington Beach 56, Fountain Valley 35: Paola Roa scored 23 points and Stephanie Louie had 12 points to lift the visiting Oilers (14-5, 4-2), ranked No. 12 in Division 1A, over the Barons (9-12, 1-5).

Los Alamitos 70, Marina 44: Neah Odom scored 19 points and Dani Iwami added 17 points to help the Griffins (17-5, 5-1) beat the visiting Vikings (11-11, 2-4).

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