Girls State Division 1 Southern Regional Semifinal:
Ribet Academy 57, Granada Hills 43
The Fighting Frogs of Ribet Academy beat the Granada Hills Highlanders, 57-43, Tuesday night to advance to the State Southern Regional D-1 championship game at the Pyramid in Long Beach on Saturday.
Ribet never trailed in the game and built up a comfortable early and pushed back any challenges the Highlanders mounted the rest of the way.
Lola Pendande had 12 first-quarter points en route to a game high 17 points, as Ribet built a 19-10 lead after the first quarter.
The lead reached double digits, 23-13, after Cosette Balmy got a steal and coast to coast layup at the 5:45 mark of the second quarter.
Then Emily Mitchell answered with her own steal and coast to coast score for Granada Hills.
A little later, Sarah Miranda converted a three-point play for Granada Hills and the lead was down to six, 24-18, at the midway point of the quarter.
But Justina King made a terrific assist to Janette Mensah for a score to start a 9-1 run for Ribet and they finished the first half with a commanding 33-19 lead.
Granada Hills had trouble getting its deficit under double digits the rest of the game.
Ribet scored first in the third quarter and had its largest lead of the game, 35-19.
Brianna Torres made two special drive and dishes to Haylee Aiden for scores to help bring the Highlanders to within 12 points at 37-25.
Granada Hills kept battling the bigger Ribet squad and eventually got the lead down to six at 41-35 after a beautiful assist from Mitchell to Aiden.
But when King made a nice move to score at the buzzer, Ribet had a 45-36 lead going into the final quarter.
Granada Hills cut the deficit to 7 points twice in the fourth quarter, the first on a quarter-opening fastbreak layup by Mitchell and the second time on a medium range jumper by Miranda that made it 47-40 with 5:45 to go in the game.
Then Ribet scored three straight buckets to put the game away. Baskets by 6-9 senior Andrea Aquino, Mensah, and Pendande made it 53-40 at the 2:40 mark.
Ashley Jeong nailed a three for Granada Hills to make it 53-43 but it was too little too late and Ribet finished off the scoring to make the final score, 57-43.
The 5th seeded Ribet Academy will now face #2 seed Serra for the regional championship at noon on Saturday at the Pyramid in Long Beach. The winner will play for the State D-1 title in Sacramento on March 23.
Scoring by Quarter:
Granada Hills----10-09-17-07 = 43
Ribet Academy---19-14-12-12 = 57
Granada Hills (43):
00-Emily Mitchell 11
1-Hayley Berfield 8
13-Ashley Jeong 3
22-Sarah Miranda 13
43-Haylee Aiden 8
Ribet Academy (57):
4-Rosemary Odebunmi 5
5-Yurizel Funes 2
10-Justina King 10
12-Lola Pendande 17
15-Janette Mensah 10
22-Andrea Aquino 8
24-Cosette Balmy 5