Girls Basketball: Muir back in CIF-SS finals since 2005; Mustangs will take on top-seed Santa Margarita on Thursday at Mater Dei for Division 3A championship.

CIF-SOUTHERN SECTION PLAYOFFS
DIVISION 3A CHAMPIONSHIP
THURSDAY, 6:30 P.M.
AT MATER DEI HIGH SCHOOL
NO. 3 MUIR (21-7) vs. NO. 1 SANTA MARGARITA (23-6)

THE VIEW FROM THE OTHER SIDE
Zornig leads Santa Margarita into 3A title game (The Orange County Register)

How is it that this Muir team is in the CIF-Southern Section divisional finals when last year’s super star team featuring Eliza Pierre (Cal) and Brittany Henderson (Kentucky) couldn’t get past the semifinals? The answer is not all that complicated, really. For starters, Muir played against some major powerhouses last year that included Inglewood, the team that ousted the Mustangs in the semifinals and went on to win the divisional title. This year, Muir still is playing in Division 3A, but powerhouses such as Inglewood and Bishop Amat have moved to Division 3AA where Inglewood is the No. 2 seed. Muir is making its first finals appearance since losing to Bishop Amat in 2005 after beating Barstow 58-39 in Saturday’s semifinals at Barstow College. Muir (21-7) used an impressive 12-0 run in the third quarter and a suffocating defense to put the game out of reach. The Division 3A tournament had really only one powerhouse, and that’s Santa Margarita. Barstow was the No. 2 seed and Muir the No. 3 seed, but the Mustangs won with ease. The road to the finals was easier for the Mustangs, plain and simple, but they also got there because they started playing with some cohesiveness as the season wore on. “We ran into a good Inglewood team (last year),” Muir coach Gary Johnson said. “We basically jelled at the right time, right now. We don’t really have any superstars. A lot of girls are playing their roles and we get everybody scoring, from 12 to 11, to nine, eight, eight. We’re very balanced on the offensive category.” As opposed to last year when the rest of the team heavily depended on Pierre and Henderson to bail them out. This year’s team has taken it upon themselves to share the load on both ends of the court.

OTHER GAMES AT MATER DEI ON THURSDAY
Tickets $9, $5

4:30 p.m. – Girls Division 5A – St. Anthony vs. Montclair Prep
8:30 p.m. – Girls Division 1A – Summit vs. Santa Monica

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  • The Stang Fan

    Congrats Lady Stangs!

    Thursday at 6:30 in Santa Ana??? Damn…won’t be able to make that one. Good luck ladies!

  • Mustangs4Life

    The Lady Stangs are successful year in and year out and send girls to major universities year in and year out. Thus I hope they are successful in the championship because they deserve it. Nevertheless John Muir High is where Champions are made!