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Girls' Basketball: CdM falls in semis

Sea Kings rally to tie score in second half, but breakthrough season ends at No. 2-seeded Lakeside.

March 01, 2014|By Matt Szabo

LAKE ELSINORE — What the Lakeside High girls' basketball team lacks in height, it makes up for in toughness.

The experienced Lancers, who came within one win of the CIF Southern Section Division 3AA title game last year, met up Saturday with a Corona del Mar team that hadn't been on that stage before.

Five-foot-seven junior forward Victoria Sosa got nine rebounds in the first quarter alone, setting the tone against a CdM team that features 6-3 sophomore Natalia Bruening and 6-2 sophomore Krista Anderson. The Lakeside crowd chanted her name, "So-sa! So-sa!'

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That same crowd rushed the floor as the No. 2-seeded hosts pulled away late for a 57-37 win, ending No. 6 CdM's season in the Division 3AA semifinal game at Lakeside High.

It was a big win for the Lancers (23-6), the Sunbelt League champion who advanced to the CIF finals for the first time in program history. And Coach Anthony Williams, who previously coached at Jurupa Valley before coming to Lakeside in 2008, said he recorded his 200th career win as a head coach.

Lakeside will play top-seeded Santa Barbara, which got past No. 12 Yorba Linda, 46-41, in the championship game next week.

"We got to this point last year," Williams said. "I didn't think we played particularly well, but we ran up against a great team in Alemany, so it was no shame in not coming out with a victory. We vowed to ourselves, with a majority of returners, that we would get back to this point this year and take the next step. That's what we did."

Lakeside pushed CdM (21-9) around in the first half, earning a 21-14 halftime advantage. The Lancers already had 12 offensive rebounds at the break.

For the game, the hosts owned a 37-30 rebounding advantage.

"We had worked all week on getting position and just being physical," Williams said. "I knew that [Bruening] was tall, but she's a little slim. I told Sosa, 'You should be able to out-muscle her.' We tried to push her off the spot, and then be strong enough to go get the rebound."

But the Sea Kings would mount a comeback. They got three-pointers from senior guard Keaton Gaughan and sophomore Kelly Tam, plus five points from Bruening, to tie the score at 27-27 late in the third quarter.

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