Saturday, October 21 , 2017, 8:23 pm | Fair 57º

 
 
 
 
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Righetti Takes Down Another Top Team to Reach TOC Gold Final

Warriors knock off Bishop Montgomery, play Ventura for championship; Santa Barbara edged by Buena in overtime

Crunch time in a basketball game is the best time for Righetti’s Danita Estorga.

The senior forward scored eight of her game-high 20 points in the fourth period, rallying the Warriors to a 57-56 win over Bishop Montgomery that puts them in the Gold Division championship game of the Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions.

Righetti will play Ventura for the title Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Santa Barbara High’s J.R. Richards Gym.

Ventura advanced to its third straight championship game with 56-45 win over Orange Lutheran. The Cougars have finished second the last two years.

Ventura is trying to become the first school to win the girls volleyball and basketball TOC’s in the same school year. The Cougars won the volleyball tournament in October.

(TOURNAMENT SCORES, SCHEDULE)

They’ll have to get past a tough Righetti squad that never backed down against Bishop Montgomery, the No. 6-ranked team in Division 1A.

Righetti’s run to the title game has included wins over Buena, the No. 4 team in 1A, and North Torrance, No. 16 in 1AA. Ventura is ninth in Division 1AA. The Warriors are second in Division 2A.

Alijah Paquet led Righetti’s three-point shooting attack, making three of the team’s seven bonus shots for nine points. Ashley Reynoso scored seven, including three clutch free throws in the fourth quarter.

Bishop Montgomery was led by Jess Malazarte’s 18 points and Nicole Hayase’s 17 points. Samantha Isozaki hit a trio of three-pointers for nine points.

In the other semifinal, Ventura followed its same pattern: race out to an early lead and never look back.  The Cougars outscored Orange Lutheran 20-7 in the first quarter behind Svannah Page’s nine points. She finished with 18. Aubrey Knight led the team with 21 points and eight rebounds.

Kylie Edwards scored 19 points for Orange Lutheran.

Buena 48, Santa Barbara 47, OT

The Dons missed a layup with eight seconds to go in the overtime and lost for the second time against the Bulldogs this month in a tournament.

Kristen Sullivan of the Dons sent the game into overtime by hitting a three-pointer at the buzzer in the fourth quarter. She made five triples in the game for a team-high 15 points.

"We told the kids that one lay-up didn't cost us the game," Santa Barbara assistant coach Carlina Gonzalez said. "The several lay-ups we missed in the first quarter was the bigger issue."

Santa Barbara trailed 13-2 after the first quarter.

Cassandra Gordon had 10 points, Anais Jimenez scored nine and grabbed 13 rebounds, while Kimberly Gebhardt had 11 boards for the Dons.

The Dons close out the tournament against Huntington Beach Edison at 10:30 a.m.

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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