Search

La Salle girls outlast Hart to win Division 2AA basketball title

MANHATTAN BEACH — The La Salle girls basketball team is no stranger to close games against the toughest competition. The Lancers played in one of the toughest leagues in the CIF-Southern Section, so the team came into the Division 2AA playoffs battle-tested and prepared for pressure situations.

That experience was evident in the fourth quarter Saturday as La Salle surged past a tough and disciplined Hart team for a 63-54 victory to capture the 2AA championship.

La Salle forward Casey Higgens takes a shot in the CIF Girls Basketball finals at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, CA on February 25, 2023.

Hart guard Arleigh Eav drives to the basket in the CIF Girls Basketball finals at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, CA on February 25, 2023.

La Salle guard Kaden Cortes takes the ball up the court in the CIF Girls Basketball finals at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, CA on February 25, 2023.

La Salle forward Casey Higgens takes a shot in the CIF Girls Basketball finals at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, CA on February 25, 2023.

Hart guard Laney Grider (left) and La Salle guard Audrey Chen (right) fight for the control of the ball in the CIF Girls Basketball finals at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, CA on February 25, 2023.

Hart guard Laney Grider takes a foul as she drives to the basket in the CIF Girls Basketball finals at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, CA on February 25, 2023.

Hart guard Arleigh Eav drives to the basket in the CIF Girls Basketball finals at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, CA on February 25, 2023.

Hart guard Morgan Mack drives to the basket in the CIF Girls Basketball finals at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, CA on February 25, 2023.

La Salle guard Audrey Chen drives to the basket in the CIF Girls Basketball finals at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, CA on February 25, 2023.

The La Salle players and fans celebrate after their 63-54 win over Hart in the CIF Girls Basketball finals at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, CA on February 25, 2023.

of

Expand

This was La Salle’s second consecutive CIF championship. The Lancers won Division 3AA last season.

La Salle is only the third team to win back-to-back CIF titles, outside of the Open Division, since CIF went to competitive equity playoffs in 2017. What makes it so tough to repeat now is that teams move up divisions when they achieve more and more success.

“I’m really proud of these kids,” said La Salle coach Scott Wiard. “They worked their tails off to achieve something pretty special.”

“We were really hyped to play this game,” said La Salle junior Audrey Chen who finished with 11 points. “It was obviously the championship game and we played Hart twice last year. They won one and we won one so this was like, ‘Who’s better?’ We just pulled it out today as a team.”

La Salle (29-3) led 44-43 going into the fourth quarter before outscoring Hart 19-11 in the final eight minutes.

It was the last play of the third quarter that got the momentum rolling for La Salle. Casey Higgins, who finished with 19 points, leaped for an offensive rebound as time expired. She grabbed the ball straight under the basket and threw in the putback at the buzzer to give the Lancers that one-point lead.

Kaden Cortes scored 10 of her game-high 21 points in the final quarter after being held scoreless in the third period.

La Salle later led 52-46 before Vanessa Zavala hit a 3 for Hart to trim the Lancers lead to three with 4:35 remaining. Cortes then nailed a 3 at the baseline with 3:40 left to give La Salle a 55-49 lead.

Cortes stepped it up to start the game. She scored nine of her team’s 17 points in the opening quarter as she kept La Salle in striking distance as Hart was on fire shooting the ball. Hart shot 57% from the field in the first quarter and hit four of six 3 pointers. Yet, Hart only led 20-17.

Hart (28-4) threatened to open the game up in the second quarter, taking a 24-18 lead. But Chen made sure La Salle stuck around. She scored seven straight points for her team as La Salle pulled within 28-27.

The Lancers then grabbed a 34-32 halftime lead after Higgins scored from under the basket as time was running out.

Hart was led by Morgan Mack and Laney Grider. Mack scored 20 points. Grider scored 15. Each hit three 3-pointers.

Related Articles

High School Sports |


Valencia boys basketball outlasts St. Bonaventure to win first-ever CIF crown

High School Sports |


Grant boys basketball defeats Venice to repeat as City Division I champions

High School Sports |


Marina girls soccer defeated by Moorpark in OT in Division 3 championship game

High School Sports |


Oak Park girls basketball routs St. Monica Prep to win first CIF crown since 2001

High School Sports |


Sun Valley Poly’s Hannah Lising leads girls basketball to first City title

Hart’s season will continue next week in the CIF State regional playoffs.

“Yeah we just lost but we’re still going to State,” Grider said. “And now we have to focus on that. I think honestly forgetting about what happened yesterday and focusing on what’s happening today and tomorrow I think is what’s important.”

La Salle will also be in the state playoffs. The pairings will be released Sunday.

 

Share the Post:

Related Posts