Top seeded Carondelet High, given all it could handle from third seeded Casa Grande High, stormed back in the third quarter and went on to a 60-45 victory to claim the North Coast Section Division II girls basketball championship on Friday night at Dublin High.
The Cougars trailed 26-24 at the half and 30-24 a few minutes into the third quarter, but then roared back with an outstanding fast-break offense. Cassandra Re got its started with a three-pointer, all alone on the left wing on a break.
That began a 24-3 run that put Carondelet in command, erecting a 48-33 margin about a minute into the fourth quarter.
Both Carondelet (26-3) and Casa Grande (30-2) from Petaluma will go on to the Northern California tournament starting next week.
Cougars star player Hannah Huffman went to the bench in the fourth quarter with 13 points.
Natalie Romeo, who scored 11 points, fueled the second half run, breaking free on a few fast breaks and receiving pinpoint long outlet passes from teammates. Makenzie Cast led Carondelet with 15 points.
Cast, a sophomore, said the message from coach Margaret Gartner was just to keep at it.
It was, Cast said, “Just keep tempo and just keep pushing it. We knew if we could keep our tempo, they would soon get tired.”
Cast said a lot of it comes from the pace of the team’s practices.
“That’s because we run and we scramble. We’re always moving,” Cast added. “We’re always moving.”
Gretchen Harrigan scored a game-high 28 points for the Gauchos, but she was worn down in the second half by the Cougars’ defense, as the great majority of her points came in the first half.