Southern California's High School Sports Blog

Girls Hoops: Mission Hills in Rebuilding Mode at San Diego Classic (7/1/17)

By TERRY MONAHAN

Mission Hills of San Marcos is coming off winning four consecutive CIF-San Diego Section girls basketball championships, including capturing the last three Open Division crowns.

But the Grizzlies are starting over courtesy of graduation.

Most of the players who had a major hand in those championships have moved on. Only senior forward Hailey McCoy returns.

The Grizzlies’ rebuilding project ran into a snag at the 31st annual San Diego Classic, losing the final two games that are played with a running clock this weekend.

After a 41-35 loss to Pinewood of Los Altos Hills in the final pool-play game Friday night, the Grizzlies were battered in a 62-38 loss in the 3A Division quarterfinals to Mesquite of Gilbert, Ariz., the reigning AIA State Conference 5A champion on Saturday afternoon.

A 25-5 run late in the first half by the Wildcats, who were 31-1 last year with a 26-game winning streak to finish the season, turned a 14-11 lead by Mesquite into a commanding 39-16 lead just before halftime.

“It’s not the 38 points that disturbs me, it’s the 62 points on defense that bothers me the most,” Grizzlies coach Chris Kroesche said. “Defense is what we’re known for. We don’t understand how precious each possession is against good teams. I’m glad this happened. Now the girls know how far they have to come by the time the season starts to be a championship team again.”

Shaylee Gonzales, who is bound for BYU next year, led the Wildcats with 22 points. Lindsay Van Allen added 16 points for the winners.

San Marcos of San Marcos, the only other team from San Diego County in the 3A championship bracket, also lost its quarterfinal game, a 39-32 decision to Pinewood on Saturday.

The Knights led 27-26 halfway through the second half and trailed 32-30 with 4:14 to play in the game.

“If you had told me driving down here we’d be in this game, I would have been so happy,” Knights coach Roger DiCarlo said.

The game was tied 32-32 with a minute to go, but several turnovers doomed the Knights’ upset bid.

“We had some easy chances down the stretch but couldn’t convert,” DiCarlo added. “I’m 100 percent proud of what these girls did this weekend, especially against some of the best teams in the country.”

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