One day after defeating the Lady Highlanders to force a one game playoff for the final guaranteed CIF playoff spot given to the Freeway League, Sunny Hills was unable to repeat their winning performance and fell to La Habra 62-50 Friday at Troy High School.
Junior guard Patricia Gonzalez led the way for the Lady Highlanders in the first quarter with 9 points.
Junior Lauren Scambray contributed six of the Lady Lancers 13 points in the quarter to help them keep La Habra close.
In the final moments of the quarter senior guard Larisa Maehara hit a 3-pointer for La Habra to put the them up 19-13.
The Lady Highlanders (17-10, 5-5) began the second quarter on a 5-0 run, which included a 3-point basket by Gonzalez, to extend their lead into double digits.
The Lady Lancers (16-11, 5-5) responded with a 3-pointer by Molly Grumbo but a bucket in the paint by Hannah Mc Arthur, who led scoring with 22 points, quickly restored the Lady Highlanders double digit lead.
Though La Habra spent much of the quarter up by double digits, 3-pointers by Sunny Hills didn’t let them pull away.
In a series of plays that kept the Lady Lancers close Jessica Barrow scored eight straight unanswered points, including back-to-back 3-point shots, to cut the Lady Highlanders lead to five.
in response to Barrow’s two straight conversions from outside the arc, Gonzalez hit a 3-pointer of her own to help the Lady Highlanders outscore Sunny Hills 7-4 in the final minutes of the half.
As the third quarter went on the Lady Lancers cut La Habra’s lead to two through 12 combined points from Barrow and junior guard Kayli Arii, who scored six straight points for Sunny Hills, that powered a 12-3 run that spanned the majority of the quarter.
Down by two is as close as Sunny Hills would get to overtaking La Habra in the second half.
Lady Highlanders senior guard Emma Zenner drained a 3-pointer in the final moments of the third to give La Habra a 47-42 lead going into the fourth.
This time, unlike on Thursday, the Lady Lancers were the team who found themselves having to catch up at the start of the fourth quarter.
The final quarter of the one game playoff was full of poor offensive play by both teams.
Though Sunny Hills was getting stops on defense they could not get anything going offensively to close the gap between the teams.
Other than a few baskets by Mc Arthur in the opening minutes of the quarter both teams missed multiple shots in the paint for an extended stretch of time.
Finally with under 2 minutes left Mc Arthur completed a 3-point play at the free throw line to end almost four minutes of no scoring by either team.
After the Senior centers play, Grumbo hit a two-pointer two keep the Lady Lancers only down by single digits.
As the game drew to a close and the Lady Lancers automatic CIF bid hopes began to fade away, they went to the 3-point shot to try and mount a late comeback.
Like throughout most of the quarter the Lady Lancers were unable to convert from beyond the arc.
The Lady Highlanders put the game away from the line in the final moments and secured their spot in the CIF Southern Section playoffs.Playoff brackets will be announced Sunday by 1 p.m.