For the fourth time this year, the Mira Costa Mustangs played their arch rival, the Redondo Union Seahawks. The two Bay League rivals split their regular season contests and Redondo defeated Mira Costa handily in the CIF Southern Section 2AA Finals. This game held the highest stakes of any of the three previous meetings: a berth in the CIF Regional Finals. With emotions running high and each team’s season on the line, Mira Costa fell short again, losing their third game out of four to Redondo, 46-31.
A more aggressive Mustang offense couldn’t quite figure out Redondo’s defensive strategies. However, Mira Costa’s defense was sharp too, resembling the defense that has defined them as a team. With many forced shots, fouls, and scrappy, aggressive plays, Mira Costa was able to keep the Seahawks to eight points in the first quarter. Redondo’s girls built upon their 8-4 lead after the first with sharp shooting by Redondo’s Nao Shiota and deep shots by Megan Peneueta. Down 18-9 at the half, Mira Costa’s only hope was another memorable comeback.
Despite a hot start the the third quarter, Redondo had a response to every Mustang score. Shiota continued her barrage of three pointer and the Seahawks were nearly unstoppable under the rim. Suffering at the free throw line and losing momentum with every foul, Mira Costa couldn’t overcome the a 33-20 deficit after the third quarter. Coach John Lapham’s girls were eliminated from CIF state playoffs with their 46-31 loss after a 26-win season.
Sophomore Allie Navarette put up 15 points for the Mustangs. Navarette teamed with fellow sophomore Alexa Underwood for a combined 14 rebounds. The Redondo Union Seahawks will go on to play Mark Keppel High on March 21.
– Jimmy Shaw, Connor Layden, and Jordan Martin