What started out as a close game quickly became a blowout as the top-seeded Sacred Heart Cathedral girls’ basketball team held Campolindo scoreless in the second quarter of a 59-40 victory for the Irish in the CIF NorCal regional semifinals Tuesday.
Junior GeAnna Summers-Luaulu led the way with 19 points, including a blur of fast-break points generated by Sacred Heart Cathedral’s aggressive defense.
“All year we were a very deep team and we wear teams down with our pressure,” SHC coach LaRyan Russell said. “Our pressure started to get to them. We had a couple hustle plays that I felt like changed the game. Kayla Coloyan sprinted the whole court, got the ball from behind, that was a big play in the second quarter that kind of changed the game.”
The Cougars took their only lead in the first quarter at 12-11, but Sacred Heart Cathedral went up 14-13 at the end of the period before outscoring the visitors 11-0 in the second.
Campolindo broke the drought with a 3-pointer early in the third quarter and stayed within striking distance for stretches, but the Irish defense locked it down in the fourth, leading by as many as 20 before it was over.
Now, Sacred Heart Cathedral advances to meet St. Ignatius in the NorCal final on Saturday at American Canyon High School for the chance to play for the state championship. It will be the fifth meeting between the rivals this season. SHC has won the previous four.
Russell said his message to his team is to stick by the “one-game-at-a-time” mantra.
“We set a goal this season to get to state and win state,” he said. “You can’t get there unless you take care of the game before that. ... This is what you want so you’ve got to work to get it.”