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Matadors’ win to help in playoff seeding

02/15/2014, 10:40pm PST
By Steve Brand, Special to the U-T

Mount Miguel defeats Mater Dei Catholic, likely locking up No. 2 spot behind Bishop's

Mount Miguel's Deijah Blanks (shown in a game earlier this season) scored 27 points in the Matadors' win over Mater Dei Catholic on Saturday night.

— Figure Mount Miguel’s girls will get the second seed in the Open Division. Barely.

Despite the No. 2-ranked Matadors trailing all of regulation and at one time being down by 15 points to No. 3 Mater Dei Catholic, Deijah Blanks led Mount Miguel to a 47-45 basketball win in overtime Saturday night in the President’s Day Shootout.

Blanks, who finished with 27 points, hit a runner racing across the key with 46 seconds to play and the Matadors (23-4) made it hold up.

“Our coach (Robbie Sandoval) tells us defense wins games and championships, and we knew if we kept playing good defense, eventually we’d find a way to win,” said Blanks.

And the winning basket?

“I’m the team’s main scorer, so I just wanted to be the one to make a play.”

Actually, Blanks made virtually every big play, keeping the Matadors close enough that a 7-0 run early in the fourth quarter allowed her club to close to 36-35.

Mater Dei (20-6) led 31-16 early in the third quarter and was still up by nine, 35-26, at the start of the fourth. Kandiss Barber’s scoring (17 points) and Olusola Smith’s rebounding (18 rebounds) allowed the Crusaders to play with confidence before the home crowd.

But Mount Miguel charged to the victory, which should assure it the No. 2 seed behind Bishop’s.

“I sure hope so,” said Sandoval. “We’ve played a tough schedule and this win should count a lot. It was a gritty win for us, with the defense keeping us close.

“We preach defense and we kept fighting back. The offense just wasn’t clicking.”

Horizon healthy

Horizon 61, Helix 54: Standouts Dijonai Carrington and Janae Omusi, playing in their second game for Horizon after returning from injuries, helped the Panthers defeat No. 8 Helix. Carrington and Omusi combined for 15 points in support of teammate Sarah Porter, who led all scorers with 23.

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