May 22, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

University’s rally falls short and Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary advances with 47-40 win

University, coached by Fidel Vargas, heads to the bench following a timeout Thursday. (Photo Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone)

University’s girls basketball team made a fourth quarter run but fell short, losing to Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary 47-40 in the opening round of the CIF 2A playoffs Thursday night at University.

University, the Pacific Coast League champion, finished 14-15.

Cantwell also defeated University 68-51 in the Valley Christian Tournament on Dec. 4.

The rematch was closer, but the Trojans struggled with their field goals.

“It was a tough one but I’ve got to give the girls credit because the first time we played this team, they beat us by 20 something and for them to be in the game the whole time and keep within striking distance, I’m extremely proud of them,” said University Coach Fidel Vargas. “They ended up playing their game the way we wanted to.

“They sped us up a little bit and took us a little bit out of character at times but when it’s a nip and tuck game like that, every possession counts. They played a great game as well.”

The Trojans trailed by seven with 4:46 left but cut the lead to 39-37 on a basket by Samantha Skurnick with 2:35 remaining. However, Cantwell made the big plays down the stretch to seal the victory.

Skurnick scored 10 points, Aryn Press had nine points, Claire Kawata eight points and Jocelyn Lau seven points each to lead University.

Cantwell (20-6) was led by Guadalupe Vazquez, who had 18 points and made five three pointers in the first half to help the Cardinals move out to a 26-21 halftime lead. Gizelle Moreno added 14 points and Khaiya Chumley had 11 points and 14 rebounds.

“We had a great season, from our pre-season to now, to become league champions and go 9-1 in league, I told the girls when they walk out of this gym, to keep their heads up,” Vargas said. “The coaching staff is extremely proud of them.”

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