The tournament was running about 45 minutes behind schedule, meaning this big-time game ended at 11 pm, past the newspaper’s deadline. We managed to squeeze in a couple paragraphs, but here’s the longer story I wrote for the web. It was a fantastic game with lots of momentum shifts — well worth the drive out to Antioch.
By Stephanie Hammon
Wednesday night’s late semifinal matchup between Carondelet High and No. 1 seeded Potter’s House Christian Academy-Jacksonville, Fla. in the West Coast Jamboree’s Platinum Division was a game of runs – both literally and figuratively.
The Cougars and Lady Lions each held double-digit leads in the contest, but it was Potter’s House Christian and its fast-paced style that had the final big run of the game to win 74-68 at Deer Valley High School.
Potter’s House Christian, the No. 20th ranked girls basketball team in the nation by USA Today, advances to Thursday’s championship game against defending champion Brea Olinda, which is ranked No. 12 by the same publication, at 1:30 p.m. Carondelet (7-2) faces Bishop O’Dowd in the third-place game at noon.
The Lady Lions (17-2) looked like they were going to run away with the game early, going up 20-6 in the first quarter.
But the Cougars switched to a zone defense that slowed down Potter’s House Christian. Carondelet picked up its offense as well and used a pair of 10-0 runs in the second quarter to lead 38-35 at halftime.
“They could have folded in the first four minutes of the game,” Cougars coach Margaret Gartner said of her team. “They showed a lot of heart.”
Santa Clara-bound guard Ricki Radanovich scored 11 of her 19 points in the second quarter, including two of her four three-pointers.
The Cougars expanded their lead to as many as 10 points in the third period before the Lady Lions’ big comeback.
“They did a pretty good job of beating down our zone and started getting the ball in the paint,” Gartner said.
A shot by Pittsburgh-bound Loliya Briggs with 4:08 left in the game gave the Lady Lions the lead back for good. They outscored the Cougars 22-10 in the final period by running Carondelet up and down the court and finding their inside game.
The Cougars cut the deficit to two points with 1:40 left, but turned the ball over on their next possession and Potter’s House Christian converted their final four free throws to seal the win.
Salethia Stringfield of Potter’s House Christian led all scorers with 21 points, 11 of them coming in the fourth quarter.
Erin Boettcher scored 19 points for Carondelet while teammate Erica Payne added 14 points and 21 rebounds.
Potter’s House Christian 74, Carondelet 68
Potter’s House (17-2)
Briggs 3 5-8 11, Fuller 1 0-0 2, Macho 1 0-0 3, Brown 4 0-0 8, Rountree 5 6-6 17, Bannister 5 1-2 12, Stringfield 7 7-8 21. Totals 26 19-24 74.
Radanovich 6 3-4 19, Russi 1 2-2 5, Velasco 1 0-0 3, Payne 6 2-5 14, Huffman 3 0-1 6, Regan 1 0-0 2, Boettcher 9 1-1 19. Totals 27 8-13 68.
Potter’s House 23 12 17 22 - 74
Carondelet 12 26 20 10 - 68
3-point goals: Macho, Rountree, Bannister 3, Radanovich 4, Russi, Velasco. Highlights: C – Payne 21 rebounds.