DRIVING THROUGH TRAFFIC: Briliyah looks for opening to drive the lane against Etiwanda in the first quarter of the Knights CIF-SS Open Divsion game Saturday night at home. The senior point guard finished with 10 points.
LOOKING FOR AN OPENING: Jada Turner looks for teammates in the first quarter of the Knights CIF-SS Open Divsion game Saturday night at home. The senior point guard tallied 11 points.
LYNWOOD LOOSE COMPOSURE
The win avenged an earlier-season loss and enabled the Eagles to earn a win in the group B pool of the CIF Southern Section Open Division Playoffs.
The Knights were stunned.
“Destiny Agubata was able to play,’’ said Etiwanda coach Stan Delus about his starter who was out injured the first time the teams met. “Our young kids were more composed. We were able to take care of the ball on the perimeter. We made timely shots at the right moment.’’
Lynwood seemingly had the win within their grasp twice.
The first time was when they held a nine-point lead in last four minutes of regulation and appeared to be headed for a victory. However, a 3-pointer by Destiny Agubata, from beyond the top of the key, tied the game up, at 66, to force an overtime.
The final time came when Marshall scored five points in overtime and appeared to have given Lynwood enough breathing room to secure a victory. Then, Etiwanda went on a short run to take the lead. The Eagles led 37-31 at intermission.
Marshall, who had 18 points in the first half, finished with 39 points. Briliyah Taylor added 10 points. Turner had 11 points, and Jada Laititi hit three 3 pointers for nine points.
The Eagles, who trailed for the most of the second half, were led by Smith with 22 points. Agubata tallied 21 points, and Majesty Cade had 13. Now, they will await to see the pairing come out for the SoCal Regional Playoffs. That will begin next week.
“I think we were a little down the first half,’’ Castro said. “We said,’we need to work hard. It didn’t matter whether we win or lose, we just want to work harder, and give everything we got at the end. That’s what we did.’’
LYNWOOD TURNED UP DEFENSE IN SECOND HALF
“We just tried to make sure that we together and didn’t hang our heads,’’ said Ayanna Johnson, who scored 15 points for Mater Dei. “We had a big lead and we lost it. We fought back and made sure we were up. We had a good attitude all the time. So we secured the win. I think they were attacking the basket more. There wasn’t much we could do (with Rayah) she had 43 points. She is pretty good. She is hard to stop.’’
Marshall, a USC signee, was practically unstoppable. The 6-foot-4 point-forward score 16 of her 43 points in the fourth quarter, 28 in the second half. Senior guard Briliyah Taylor hit a clutch 3 during the Knights run. They had outscored the Monarchs 19-11 in the fourth quarter and 20-10 in the third.
In the first half, Mater Dei was on fire. The Monarchs scored 28 points compared to the Knights 13, and outscored Lynwood 23 to 18 for Lynwood, and held a 51-31 advantage at admissions.
Mater Dei hit nine 3-pointers. Brooke Demetre, a 6-foot-3 All-American and Stanford signee, accounted for four 3-pointers and scored 18 of her 20 points in the first stanza. She was held to two points in the second half. She had gotten into foul trouble and eventually fouled out in the fourth quarter.
Alyssa Durazo-Frescas had also hit four 3-pointers in the first half. Lynwood’s perimeter defense didn’t allow her to get many good looks in the second half. She went scoreless in the third quarter but did manage to score a bucket in the fourth. She finished with 18 points.
Ayanna Johnson came up big time, she scored 15 points in the game but her clutch 3-pointer in the waning minutes of the game took the air out of Lynwood’s balloon. Soleil Montrose also scored in double figures, scoring 13 points.
Lynwood coach Ellis Barfield said he was pleased with his team's second-half performance. It took heart to rally from a 24-point deficit to have a chance to win it in the end. The miscues hurt. But they are competing against the best teams in the CIF Southern Section.
PLAYING TOUGH: Honesty Hasson, who suffered an injury late in the game Wednesday night, turned her defense up a notch to help the Knights' rally to within four points. defender
SPECIAL DELIVERY: Lynwood senior shooting guard Jada Laititi hit two clutch deep balls against Mater Dei in the CIF Southern Section Open Division Playoffs on Wednesday night on the road.