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Division I: Mission Hills title fills in blanks

03/08/2014, 8:32pm PST
By Steve Brand, Special to the U-T

Khayla Rooks has championship for Grizzlies to match brother Kameron

Khayla Rooks and Mission Hills girls basketball coach Chris Kroesch had a little extra motivation heading into Saturday’s Division I championship game at USD’s Jenny Craig Pavilion.

For Rooks, a freshman, it was equaling the number of San Diego Section titles won by her brother Kameron, who led the Grizzlies to the Division I title a year ago and is now playing at Cal.

For Kroesch, he was getting some heat from his fellow coaches for not having won a section title as the school entered its 10th year of existence.

Both can relax and smile now, and they did exactly that after the Grizzlies (22-8) raced out to a 27-11 first-quarter lead before cruising to a 62-43 victory over Mt. Carmel (23-8).

“Yes, the other coaches have been joking in the locker room about their reigns (as champions),” said Kroesch, who can now order his own banner. “This is such a great group and we only have one senior.”

Scary thought.

Rooks, who is listed at 6-feet-1, scored 10 of her 16 points in the first quarter, six of them coming on long 3-pointers. She chipped in eight rebounds in a fine all-around effort.

“I knew we’d win,” said the confident 14-year-old, “and now I have three more years. I went to last year’s championships (to watch Kameron) and I was excited.

“We wanted to have some 8-0 runs and put them away early.”

They did just that as Madison Adams (17 points), Roshell Lamug (16) and Allie Israel (10) added double-figure support.

Mt. Carmel coach Tim Jollett could hardly believe his eyes as only Ali Engelhardt (17 points) could keep pace with the Grizzlies.

“Eight for 13 shooting threes in the first half — you can’t beat a team that does that,” Jollett said.

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