Three players scored in double figures for the Bishop Diego girls basketball team, leading the Cardinals to a 53-40 win at Palo Verde Valley of Blythe in the first round of the CIF State Tournament Division 5 Southern California Regionals on Tuesday night.
Lily Simolon scored 14 points and Gali De La Cruz and Jiali Coronado each had 12 points. Coronado made four three-pointers.
In another Division 5 game, CIF-Central Section champion Lompoc lost to Marina, 47-39.
Bishop Diego, which lost in the CIF-SS Division 4A semifinals, jumped on Palo Verde Valley early.
“We had a great start, getting out to a 36-20 halftime lead,” said Bishop coach Jeff Burich. “We moved the ball well and played great defense. Gali had a great first half.”
Palo Verde Valley, the CIF-San Diego Section Division 4 champion, battled back and cut Bishop’s lead to 47-40 with a little over a minute left in the game.
The Cardinals got the momentum back when Siena Urzua stole the ball and scored on a layup.
“It was a loud environment and the team persevered in the second half,” said Burich, “We got some big threes from Jiali whenever it felt like they were going to make a run.
“Lily did a great job attacking the basket and Siena played great defense on their leading scorer, holding her to two points.”
Bishop Diego (24-4)advances to the regional quarterfinals on Thursday and plays at South Hills.