June 15, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Godinez battles back from fourth quarter deficit to defeat Knight in CIF playoff opener

Godinez players (from left) Julissa Mota, Emily Jiménez, and Valerie Esteban helped the Grizzlies win their CIF playoff opener. (Photo: Alex Suarez, For OC Sports Zone).

By ALEX SUAREZ

For OC Sports Zone

Godinez High School’s girls basketball team rallied from a seven point deficit in the fourth quarter and defeated Knight 56-49 in the opening round of the CIF 3A playoffs Thursday night at Godinez. 

Godinez moves on to the second round to face St. Monica Prep Saturday night. 

Valerie Esteban scored 17 points and made three 3-pointers. Emily Jimenez had 13 points and Julissa Mota finished with 11 points to lead Godinez (18-8). Amia Tate had 19 points to lead Knight. 

“It got scary for us going down seven at the end of the third quarter, but we’re battle tested, we’ve been in games like this throughout the whole season,” said Godinez Coach AJ Alaman. “At the start of the fourth quarter I challenged them to get three stops in a row.” 

Godinez led 25-22 at halftime but headed into the fourth quarter trailing by seven. The Grizzlies outscored the Hawks 23-9 in the fourth quarter. Esteban led the Grizzlies with six points in the fourth quarter, including one 3-pointer. 

“We all know how each other plays and know each other really well to know where the open shot is,” said Esteban. “I hope that we have a lot of energy like we did today and keep playing until the end.”