Girls Basketball: Mesa Grande defeats Rio Hondo Prep 48-44 to win CIF-SS Division 6AA Championship.

CLICK HERE FOR A PHOTO GALLERY FROM THE CIF-SS DIVISION 6AA FINAL

ANOTHER VIEW

Mesa Grande girls make history (Riverside Press-Enterprise)

By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer

ANAHEIM – It appeared to be within reach for the Rio Hondo Prep girls basketball team. The Kares took a four- point lead at the half, but then came the third quarter. That’s when it all came apart.

Top seed Mesa Grande Academy switched to a matchup zone defense in the third quarter to cause confusion, and it worked, limiting Rio Hondo Prep to three points and helping the Cardinals oust the Kares 48-44 in the CIF-Southern Section Division 6AA final Thursday at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Mesa Grande Academy (26-2) opened the third with a 6-0 run to retake the lead 22-20 before extending it to 26-21 on a Jennifer Dupper steal and layup with 4:59 left in the quarter.

Rio Hondo Prep (21-6) didn’t score in the third until Jayleen Wong converted 1 of 2 free throws, and the second- seeded Kares scored their lone field goal of the quarter on a Kayley Martin 8-foot jumper with 27.9 seconds left. Rio Hondo Prep, which led 20-16 at halftime, went on to miss five free throws and committed 17 turnovers in its first finals appearance since winning the small-schools division in 1990.

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“I thought we came out in the third quarter and left our shooters alone,” Rio Hondo Prep coach Joe Parker said. “We fell apart on that.

“Overall, I thought our defense was pretty good. it wasn’t our defensive effort that cost us the game. Offensively we got a little bit out of rhythm.”

Martin scored a team-high 15 points on 6-of-15 shooting. No other player, though, scored in double figures. Charley Parker was limited to nine points on 3-of-10 shooting.

“I thought (Jaci Shankel) did an excellent job (guarding) Charley,” Parker said. “They took that away.”

Martin buried a 3-pointer from the top of the key to make it 44-42 with 33.2 seconds left, and Hannah Martin was fouled with 8.3 seconds left and converted both free throws to make it 46-44.

Mesa Grande Academy’s Michaela Garcia was put at the line with 5.7 seconds left. She missed the one-and-one, but fellow senior Rachel Tohm grabbed the rebound and was fouled with 4.3 seconds remaining. Tohm hit both free throws to put the game away.

miguel.melendez@sgvn.com

CIF-SS PLAYOFFS
CHAMPIONSHIP
DIVISION 6AA
AT THE ARENA, ANAHEIM CONVENTION CENTER
No. 1 Mesa Grande 48
No. 2 Rio Hondo Prep 44
.

Rio Hondo Prep 8 12 3 21 — 44
Mesa Grande Academy 10 6 13 19 — 48

Rio Hondo Prep: Kayley Martin 15, Charley Parker 9, Hannah Martin 8, Jayleen Wong 6, Karah Kirby 6.

Mesa Grande Academy: Jennifer Dupper 16, Rachel Tohm 14, Michaela Garcia 11, Jaci Shanker 6, Amanda Darkens 1.

Records: Rio Hondo Prep 21-6; Mesa Grande Academy 26-2.

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  • Greg

    Thanks for the updates. I really appreciate it.