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Woodbridge pushes way into South Coast Classic final
IRVINE – Woodbridge's girls basketball team took a little while to get going Friday night.
But the No. 7 Warriors got untracked in the second quarter and went on to defeat Los Alamitos, 67-54, in the semifinals of the South Coast Classic at Woodbridge.
The victory sent Woodbridge (4-0) into the championship game Saturday against San Clemente at 7 p.m. at Concordia University. Woodbridge and San Clemente had 3-0 records in pool play to reach the finals.
"The last three games we started out pretty quick," Woodbridge coach Pete Belanto said. "Tonight, we started out really sluggish, but it was a better basketball team than we played in the first two games.
"I thought they were pretty good. Once we started running a little bit, and got some open shots, we were back to the way we want to play."
Senior guard Sarah Lipton led the Warriors with 21 points, including 12 in the second quarter when Woodbridge outscored Los Alamitos, 24-8, to take a 31-18 lead at halftime.
"Our defense was a little off," Lipton said. "We need to be focused a little more on their top players. But overall, I think we had a pretty good offensive game.
"In the second quarter, we brought it out to 18 or 19 points, but we really wanted to extend it because that's not really finishing the game so we need to learn how to close out a game."
Woodbridge went on a 7-0 run to start the third quarter to move out to a 38-18 lead.
Los Alamitos (7-2) finished the game strong, outscoring the Warriors, 24-19, in the final quarter.
The Griffins cut the lead to 58-45 on a basket by Neah Odom with 2:58 left, but Kelli Robinson countered with a 3-pointer with 2:30 remaining to put the Warriors ahead, 61-45.
Robinson had five 3-pointers and wound up with 15 points. Emma Shimizu added 13 points, and Wendy Shiga 11 points for Woodbridge.
Odom led Los Alamitos with 18 points, 12 in the final quarter.
Katelyn McCutchen added 12 points for the Griffins.