El Toro keeps charging, reaches semifinals
VILLA PARK - El Toro took advantage of Whitney Williams' speed and Alyson Doherty's height in its 58-47 victory over Villa Park in a CIF-SS Division 1A quarterfinal Saturday at Villa Park High.
The victory puts the Chargers (26-2) into the semifinal round for the first time in 12 years, Coach Erin Schimeneck said. The Chargers will be at home against Huntington Beach on Tuesday.
With the exception of three free throws, Williams scored all her team-high 23 points by weaving around defenders and driving to the basket for layups.
"She's got unbelievable speed," Schimeneck said of the junior point guard. "It's hard to defend somebody so fast ... She knows how to twist her way in and score."
The 6-foot-2 Doherty scored 10 and grabbed seven rebounds despite sitting out close to six minutes in the first half with foul trouble.
When Doherty was on the court, her presence helped free up lanes for Williams, Schimeneck said.
Also contributing for the Chargers was Jasmine Kennon, who scored 15 and had a team-high 10 rebounds.
Connie Ballestero scored a game-high 24 and had 10 rebounds for the Spartans (17-12) before fouling out late in the contest.
The Spartans trailed by 14 at the half but began to make a game of it in the third quarter.
Caitlin Bunting scored eight points in the quarter, including a pair of 3-pointers, and Ballestero scored six to get the Spartans to within seven heading into the fourth.
Villa Park got to within five twice in the fourth when baskets by Doherty and Kennon in the final two minutes gave the Chargers a 54-45 lead.
The Chargers closed out the game despite going 7 for 18 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter.
"I think on Monday we'll be practicing free throws with Metallica music playing in the background," Schimeneck said.