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It’s never too late for La Costa Canyon

02/28/2014, 10:39pm PST
By John Maffei

Mavericks overcome nine-point deficit to defeat La Jolla Country Day in overtime


La Costa Canyon’s Taylor Pierce, who scored 35 points, tries to escape La Jolla Country Day’s Hadiyah Muhammad.

— Taylor Pierce led a furious fourth-quarter comeback Friday as La Costa Canyon overcame a nine-point deficit and beat La Jolla Country Day 71-67 in overtime in a San Diego Section Open Division girls basketball quarterfinal game.

The fourth-seeded Mavericks (25-3) trailed 54-45 with 6:01 to play but caught the No. 5 Torreys (16-11) at 60 on the strength of a Pierce three-point play and a pair of 3-pointers.

“Down nine. No problem,” said Pierce, who scored 35 points, just off her career-best 39. “We don’t stop.

“A lot of people didn’t think we’d be very good this season. We lost five good players to graduation. We have a new coach. We’re very short. But we’re still pretty good.”

The shortest LCC player is 5-foot-3 point guard Lauren DiFabrizio.

Playing for the first time in three weeks after spraining an ankle, she scored seven points. Two of those put the Mavericks ahead 65-63 with 1:01 to play, two more gave LCC a 69-65 lead with 1:30 to play in the overtime.

“Up nine, I was thinking if we could play solid defense, we could hang on,” said La Jolla Country Day coach Terri Bamford. “But Taylor Pierce put that team on her back. She hit some really key buckets.”

Pierce plays for Bamford’s club team in the summer and knows all the LJCD girls.

“Terri knows me very well,” Pierce said. “I knew they’d try and stop me. But I like challenges.”

LCC’s biggest challenge came on the boards, where the Torreys had a 38-36 advantage.

Mai-loni Henson led LJCD with 24 points and 14 rebounds. Sabrina Callahan had 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Mariana Ecija had 14 points, including four 3-pointers — three in the third quarter.

“This team has a lot of character,” said LCC coach John Farrell. “I asked the girls not to try and win this by themselves.

“Taylor was awesome, but she didn’t do this on her own.”

Rachel Dumiak added 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Mavericks. Kelly Reed and Kasey Pinter got in early foul trouble and finished with eight and seven points as Farrell had to juggle his lineup.

LCC advances to Wednesday’s semifinal at No. 1-seeded Bishop’s.

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