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CdM takes back the belt

Battle of the Bay Girls' Basketball

Fourth-quarter run helps senior-dominated Sea Kings win Battle of the Bay for first time in five years.

January 02, 2012|By Matt Szabo
(Kevin Chang / Daily…)

NEWPORT BEACH — Each time Melanie de Arakal scored Monday night, she made a belt motion around her waist. It's the touchdown move that Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers made famous.

De Arakal, a Corona del Mar High girls' basketball senior, is actually a Saints fan, though she did have Rodgers on her fantasy team this year. But what she does like is the insurance commercial, featuring Rodgers, where ordinary people "steal" his move.

"It's a really awkward commercial where some guy goes, 'Hey Rodgers, discount double-check!'" de Arakal said. "So that was the joke. My family was like, 'Every time you score, we're going to discount double-check' ... I think that won the game for us — the power of the discount double-check."

By the end of the night, de Arakal had most of the sizable group of CdM supporters doing the move at Newport Harbor High. De Arakal and the rest of CdM's six seniors made big plays down the stretch, insuring that the Sea Kings would win the Battle of the Bay game for the first time in five years.

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Corona del Mar took back the belt, scoring a 30-27 victory in the Sailors' gym.

Those fans stormed the court after the victory and the seniors, a group also including Maddy Camarillo, Samantha Coffman, Amy Hoogenboom, Jordan Meyers and Karléh Wilson, were obviously thrilled after winning their first varsity crosstown rivalry game.

"It's our year," Coffman said. "[That's our] team motto. Plus we're all really close, so I think that helped. We all wanted it for each other."

The victory was not secure for CdM (8-7) until the final sequence. Newport Harbor (6-9) had the ball with 22 seconds left, coming out of a timeout down a single point.

CdM's de Arakal and sophomore Keaton Gaughan double-teamed a Sailors guard near the far sideline. The Newport Harbor player tried to throw it back toward the middle of the court, but Coffman was there to pick off the pass. She fed the ball to Wilson, who ran down and scored the game's final points at the buzzer.

Wilson led all players with 12 points. She also played solid defense on Newport Harbor senior post player Kasey Thompson, despite giving up seven inches to the 6-foot-2 Thompson.

Thompson was in foul trouble after picking up her fourth early in the fourth quarter. She still finished with eight points, 15 rebounds and four blocked shots, but Wilson made her work.

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