Emily Eddy made a reverse layup with a minute remaining to give Newport Beach Sage Hill the first lead after the first quarter, before Isabel Gomez and Kat Righeimer made three of four free throws in the final seconds to put Lightning on top. Made another for To clinch a dramatic 51-47 win over the Fresno San Joaquin Memorial in the CIF Division II State Girls Basketball Final at Golden 1 Center on Saturday.
Sage Hill trailed 13 points and made her way to a 33-33 draw as well, when Gomez beat Shot Clock to save less than a minute in the third quarter.
The Lightning again fell behind in the fourth quarter, but they showed resilience as they pulled through the entire playoffs to earn their first state title, two weeks after losing to the Orange Lutherans in the Southern Division Division 2A championship game.
“It was an exciting game to say the least… our girls are incredible,” said Sage Hill coach Kervin Walters. “When we play like this, there is no team in the world that we can’t compete with. We’ve been in games like this. We knew we couldn’t play with teams that couldn’t push us, so we determined super tough teams and all those losses helped us grow. ,
The Lightning (27-10) trailed by 13 points in the second quarter, but were only 22-16 after closing the half for 7-0.
Gomez finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds, Eddie contributed 13 points and 11 rebounds, and Righeimer, who scored a last-second jumper to beat Corona Santiago in the Southern California Regional Finals, added 11 points.
Meadow Roland had 10 points and new center Alexis Swillis scored 13 rebounds for the Central Division Division I champion Panthers (27–7).
“We’re a very mentally tough team, so being behind didn’t bother us,” said Gomez, a senior point guard who hopes to run at the University of Pennsylvania. “I knew I had to be more aggressive” [in the second half] I was in the first half and at the tie-pointer, I just looked at the clock and had to take a shot. ,
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