June 15, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

JSerra rallies in second half against St. Margaret’s to capture CIF 3A championship

JSerra with the championship plaque after winning the CIF title Saturday. (Photos: Alex Suarez, For OC Sports Zone).

By ALEX SUAREZ

For OC Sports Zone

JSerra High School’s girls basketball team rallied behind in the second half to defeat St. Margaret’s 43-30 to capture the CIF 3A championship Saturday at Edison High School. It was the first championship for the girls basketball program at JSerra in school history. 

“We just won a ring, we worked hard for this,” said JSerra Coach Chayanne Butler. “I’m extremely proud of the girls from where they came from at the beginning of the season.”

JSerra (23-9) trailed heading into halftime 17-12. The Lions outscored St. Margaret’s 16-8 in the third quarter and took a one point lead into the fourth after a buzzer beating layup by Shae Talleur. JSerra went on a 19-0 run from the end of the third quarter and carried that well into the fourth quarter. 

“They know that they’re capable of doing anything and the sky’s the limit,” said Butler. “I’m happy they got this experience as a freshmen group because not a lot of freshmen get this experience. They’re a completely different group than they were at the beginning of the season.”

Rosie Santos was the leading scorer for JSerra with 15 points and a 3-pointer. Addie Nolan had 12 points and Shae Talleur finished the game with seven points. 

“I think in the beginning we were a little nervous,” said Santos. “We got our confidence back and we got back into the game and got into a rhythm. Our game plan going in was to make them make bad passes and I think we did a good job of doing that.”

St. Margaret’s (26-7) could not repeat as champions but the players are quickly turning their focus to the Southern California regional that begins next week.

“I’m really proud of the way our team fought, the way they competed,” said Coach Josh Markum. “The shots didn’t fall today and that’s basketball so we love and hate it, but we’re ready to kind of move on and get ready for state.”

Annika Tufo led the Tartans with eight points. Taylor Francois had seven points and Harper Gideons finished with six points, on two 3-pointers. 

“We went into this knowing how good it feels to win one,” Francois said. “Then to come in and lose, we’re so close to feel that joy and excitement again. I think this is motivation to want to go do it next year and get the opportunity to win again.”

With St. Margaret’s playing a school that is right across the freeway there was a little extra motivation going into Saturday’s championship game.

“We see those girls at tournaments and locally all the time, it would be nice to rub that in their face a little bit,” said Gideons. “They’ll have that on us when we see them. I would’ve liked to have that little extra something but it is what it is.”

Both teams are headed to the regional.

For best view, click on the photo: