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Perris, Troy Shooting for Tournament of Champions Gold

St. Joseph cruises into Green Division title contest while Dos Pueblos is a win — and a loss — away.

After three rounds of basketball in the Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions, the table is set for the title games of the Green and Gold Divisions.

In the Gold Division semifinals, both games went down to the wire to set-up Saturday’s final.  Perris and Ventura battled back and forth all game before Natasha Hadley’s baseline shot won it for Perris with 20 seconds left in the contest, 41-40.  And it took overtime for Troy to finally knock off Royal, 55-52.

The Gold Division Championship will be the tournament finale, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Santa Barbara High.

St. Joseph continued its dominance of the Green Division with its third big win of the tournament.  The Knights jumped out to an early lead and never let up against Chaminade, winning, 69-21.  Sisters Analise and Devin Riezebos combined for 25 points to lead St. Joseph into the tournament final.

The Knights’ opponent will be Lutheran (Orange), which held off a disciplined Morro Bay team, 43-36, in the other Green semifinal.  Natalie Saia rallied the Pirates with two fourth-quarter three-pointers, to close a 17-point lead to single digits, but with 11 points from Michelle Nicoles the Lancers came out on top.

The Green Division championship game will be played at 5:45 p.m. Saturday at Santa Barbara High.

Dos Pueblos, meanwhile, is one win away from claiming the consolation championship of the Green Division after a 43-42 comeback win over Redwood Christian.

After jumping out to a big first-quarter lead and never trailing vs. King-Drew on Thursday, the Chargers waited until their last possession to take their first lead of the game against Redwood Christian. Brianna Wiliford was the day’s hero, scoring 17 points and hitting three three-pointers including the game winner.

Early in the game, it appeared like a long afternoon was ahead for Dos Pueblos.  Redwood Christian employed a match-up zone that prevented the Chargers from finding any offensive rhythm and led to numerous turnovers.

“It seemed like there was a lid on the rim all day,” said Dos Pueblos head coach Maynard Pilapil.

Trailing by eight to start the fourth quarter, however, the Chargers’ defense turned it up, holding Redwood Christian to nine points in the final period to spark the comeback.  Pilapil credited Sarah Crane’s on-ball defense for pushing the momentum the Chargers way.

With 10 seconds left and the Eagles’ lead down to two points, the Chargers found an open Wiliford at the top of the arc and she hit her final three-pointer of the night to give Dos Pueblos the lead for the first time in the game.

Redwood Christian was able to get to the free-throw line on its last possession of the game with a chance to tie or win, but both shots missed, giving Dos Pueblos the victory.

Dos Pueblos will face Nordhoff at 9 a.m. Saturday at home.  A Dos Pueblos win, coupled with Santa Ynez’s loss to King-Drew, gives the Chargers the Green Consolation Championship.

At San Marcos, the Royals ran out to an early first half lead against Aliso Niguel, but saw it fade away in the second half with a flood of three-pointers and free throws.

The Wolverines picked up 14 points at the free-throw line and 12 points beyond the arc to win 42-34. In the first half, the Royals got some much needed offense from guard Kelley Chilton as she hit three long three-point shots over Aliso Niguel’s zone.  Cara Tucker finished a strong start for San Marcos, taking a rebound and driving the entire floor to give the Royals a 12-6 lead at the end of the first quarter.

San Marcos was only able to muster 22 points the rest of the game while Aliso made its final six free-throws and got 13 points from MacKenzie Beckley to take the victory.

San Marcos will play St. Bonaventure for seventh place at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at home.

Santa Barbara played its second-straight game without head coach Andrew Butcher, who is still recovering from the flu.  The Dons were outmatched by Santa Monica, losing 80-28.

Assistant coach Jen Sorosky again filled in for Butcher, and was very complimentary of the Vikings.

“They were very good.  We have to get better to compete with a team like that,” she said.

Sorosky acknowledged the play of freshman forward Tess Emerson.

The Dons play their final game of the tournament, against Calvary Christian, at 10:45 a.m. Saturday at Santa Barbara High.


Gold Division
13th-place semifinals
Del Oro 49, Soquel 45
Righetti 46, Newbury Park 44

Ninth-place (consolation) semifinals
Buena 58, Cathedral,45
Santa Monica 80, Santa Barbara 28

Fifth-place semifinals
Harvard-Westlake 58, Pacific Hills 43
Hart 60, Palmdale 38

Championship semifinals
Troy 55, Royal 52 (OT)
Perris 41, Ventura 40

Green Division
Consolation Pool
Santa Ynez 40, Nordhoff 38
King-Drew 48, Ventura JV 26
Dos Pueblos 43, Redwood Christian 42

Fifth-place semifinals
Aliso Niguel 42, San Marcos 34
Marina 54, St. Bonaventure 39

Championship semifinals
St. Joseph 64, Chaminade 21
Lutheran (Orange) 43, Morro Bay 36

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