Bishop Diego’s Clara McDonald scored 12 of her 18 points in a dominant fourth quarter allowing the Cardinals to beat La Reina 45-33 Friday in a CIF-SS Division 4A playoff opener.

The teams went into the final quarter tied at 31, after Bishop had led 21-17 at the half. Sonia Mancuso scored eight of the Cardinals’ 10 third-quarter points to keep them even.

A spirted defensive effort saw Bishop Diego win the fourth 14-2.

“We put the defensive clamp on in the fourth with Eliana and Siena Urzua keeping their two leading scorers scoreless in the quarter,” Cardinals coach Jeff Burich said.

The game was turnabout from a 42-39 loss to the Regents in early December.

“The defense job of Citlali Morales and Lily Simolon throughout the game was amazing,” Burich said. “La Reina’s top two scorers had a combined 29 points when we played them in December. Tonight they had 15.”

Mancuso finished with 10 points, and Annie McDonald had eight.

Bishop Diego is now 11-9 overall.

“Annie got us going in the first, scoring five points, and we led 10-4,” Burich said.

Bishop will next play the winner of Saturday’s Heritage-Artesia game. If Heritage win Bishop Diego will host, if Artesia wins the game will be on the road.

“Sonia Mancuso again played tremendous defense on their point guard and harassed her all night,” Burich said. “I was happy to see her get those points in the 3rd quarter. She has a lot of potential. The Urzua sisters just brought so much energy off the bench. The crowd was loud and the team is pumped to be moving on to the next round.”

Noozhawk correspondent Dennis Moran can be reached at Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.