Ontario Christian girls’ basketball team advances to third straight CIF-SS Section Finals – Press Enterprise

ONTARIO — Thirteen proved a lucky number for the Ontario Christian girls basketball team on Wednesday night.

Two 13-0 runs in the first half helped the Knights take control on their way to an 81-54 win over Brentwood in a CIF Southern Section Division 2A semifinal game.

The top-ranked Knights (29-3) advance to their third straight final where they will play at No. 2 Santiago on Saturday.

“It’s exciting to be in the finals for the third year in a row,” said junior Chloe Briggs. “I think this year has really helped us, with a schedule that has given us good competition.”

One of those games was a non-league game between the same teams at Ontario Christian three weeks ago. Ontario Christian narrowly won that game 69-63, but that was without Briggs (food poisoning) while Brentwood was without junior Amber Furch, who posted a team-high 19 points on Wednesday.

“That says a lot about the team, beating them without me,” Briggs said.

Briggs and senior transfer Shayla Gillmer jointly dominated the Eagles on Wednesday.

Briggs finished 9-of-14 shooting with 33 points and added nine rebounds. Gillmer, teammate of Briggs on Team Taurasi’s travel ball team, who signed with BYU, scored 18 of her 27 points in the first half and tacked on 13 rebounds. Briggs and Gilmer played the entire game.

“Ever since I’ve been here, we’ve been talking about reaching the final,” said Gilmer.

Ontario Christian actually started the game on a 13-0 run, keeping Brentwood (21-11) without a point in the first four minutes and 11 seconds. As the Eagles came within six points in the second quarter, another 13-0 run gave the Knights some breathing room. Ontario Christian extended the lead to as much as 31 points early in the fourth quarter.

Height was one of the many advantages Ontario Christian had, with 6-foot-1 Gillmer, 6-0 Briggs and 5-11 junior Brooklyn Goedhart in the lead, the Knights had a 27-16 rebound advantage in the first half . Goedhart finished with seven points and eight rebounds.

Ontario Christian coach Matt Tumambing believes the Knights can clinch that elusive CIF title this time after falling short in championship games for the past two years.

“We have more parts in stock,” he said. “I think last year we had to wait and see what (final opponents) Sage Hill would do. It’s different this year.”

Shots didn’t come for Ontario Christian guards Madeline Martinez and Dejah Saldivar Wednesday, who had three 3-pointers and nine points combined, but Tumambing says they put in extra shooting work that will hopefully pay off in the finals.


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