June 15, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

PHOTOS: Big second quarter lifts Crean Lutheran to opening round CIF playoff win

Jane Hewitt takes a shot for Crean Lutheran Thursday night during the CIF playoffs. (Photos courtesy Crean Lutheran Shutterbugs, John Luciano and Ted Rigoni).

Crean Lutheran High School’s girls basketball team broke open a close game after one quarter with a big second quarter run and went on to defeat West Torrance 56-43 in the opening round of the CIF 2AA playoffs Thursday night at Crean Lutheran.

The Saints (19-6) move on to face St. Anthony (20-7) in the second round on Saturday night at 7 in Long Beach.

To see the slide show, click on the first photo:

Crean Lutheran, which went through the Empire League undefeated at 10-0 to win the title, led 18-15 after one quarter but took control in the second quarter with a 13-0 run.

“It was a very intense game,” said Crean Lutheran co-head coach Bianca Ziemann. “Our Empire League did help us tonight because Cypress and Kennedy play very similar styles and I have to give them credit for giving us intense games, there was never an easy game. But they had a great scouting report on us and we had to make some big-time adjustments and the girls came out there and believed in those adjustments and totally executed, so we’re very happy for them.”

Ziemann said the game turned with strong defense by Crean Lutheran.

“We had to change from man and went to match-up zone and we hit some really key shots,” Ziemann said. “I’m very proud of them.”

Crean Lutheran was led by junior Jane Hewitt, who had 12 points, 10 in the second quarter to help the Saints move out to a 39-23 halftime lead.

“Her pull-up jumper was on,” said Ziemann, adding that Hewitt has missed some games with injuries. “She’s just getting started so I’m very happy for Jane.”

Quinsey Bryan had 11 points, Emma Goley nine points on three 3-pointers and Sydnee Norwood eight points for Crean Lutheran.

The Saints led 49-23 after three quarters and were comfortably ahead when Ziemann began freely substituting in the fourth quarter.

“It was a tough game, they gave us a really good fight, they’re a tough team and great shooters all-around and great defense, but I think we pulled together, definitely defensively,” said Hewitt. “Like coach mentioned, we did zone and that helped us out and players hit key shots. We were playing aggressively and playing for each other. We all worked together and we all love each other. That’ s what works.”

Alexis Lee led West Torrance (18-11) with 11 points.

—Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com