Lily Simolon, shown in an earlier game, scored 14 points to lead Bishop Diego to a first-round win in the CIF State Tournament. Credit: Gary Kim / Noozhawk photo

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.

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Barry Punzal, Sports Editor

— Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.