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Girls basketball: The great escape

January 30, 2002

Barry Faulkner

CORONA DEL MAR - Against a Corona del Mar High girls basketball

team its coach said fought like champions, Estancia sophomore point guard

Trisha Wase showed some championship mettle of her own Tuesday night.

Wase, typically a pass-first performer, asserted herself offensively

when her team needed her most, helping the Eagles escape with a 44-43

Pacific Coast League road victory that kept them one game behind

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league-leading University.

Wase, whose 21 points were the second-best single-game scoring output

of her 46-game varsity career, scored 11 of the Eagles' 18 after

halftime. She also made the pass that set up Tisha Gray's game-winning

three-point play with 15 seconds left.

"She played like she really wanted to win," Kirby said of Wase, a

5-foot-4 returning first-team all-leaguer. "She made some big

three-pointers and had some big drives to the basket. I think she saw

that this was a game where we needed her to hit some shots."

Wase, who hit a pair of three-pointers and had 10 points the first

10-plus minutes to help the visitors (13-10, 6-1 in league) earn a 20-11

lead, said she decided to look for more offensive opportunities after CdM

rallied to tie it at halftime, 26-26.

"When she needs to take over, she can," Gray said of her playmaking

teammate, whose three-pointer late in the third quarter evened the score

at 32, heading into the final eight minutes.

A pair of Wase runners in the lane, combined with a layup and free

throw by Gray, helped the Eagles stay within 40-39, before CdM senior

guard Andrea Gruber sank a three-pointer from the left wing to put the

hosts (7-15, 2-5) up, 43-39, with 2:20 left.

After both teams misfired on scoring chances, Wase then scored on a

putback of a missed three-pointer to pull the Eagles within one with 1:06

remaining.

A CdM turnover gave the Eagles possession with 35 seconds left and,

after a timeout 10 seconds later, the Eagles put the ball in Wase's

hands. Facing double-team pressure 30 feet out, Wase simply dribbled

around both CdM defenders, drew another defender near the foul line, then

dished to a wide-open Gray on the block. Gray's first shot attempt

missed, but she put in her own rebound, while being fouled.

CdM Coach Elbert Davis called a timeout to ice Gray, but the move

proved futile when the 5-9 forward bounced the ball off the front rim,

then the backboard, before it fell in for the deciding point.

"I was mad, so I was able to shut everything else out," Gray said of

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