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OLP earns another big victory over Dons

02/18/2014, 8:51pm PST
By Terry Monahan, Special to the U-T

Pilots' triumph recalls memories of Division III championship win last season

Our Lady of Peace senior Kirsten Johnson (shown at a practice earlier this season) had 24 points and 17 rebounds in the Pilots' win over Cathedral Catholic on Tuesday.

The chip on the shoulder of the Cathedral Catholic High girls basketball team was big enough already after losing the San Diego Section Division III championship game last March.

But the Dons’ rival, Our Lady of Peace, just made that chip a little bigger.

With a chance to clinch the Western League title outright, the Dons twice held a one-point lead in overtime Tuesday before giving up five points in the final 19 seconds of a 72-68 setback in the OLP gym.

Nia De La Pena hit a layup and one of two free throws and senior center Kirsten Johnson’s two free throws with 2.3 seconds to play moved the Pilots (16-11, 10-1) into a first-place tie with the frustrated Dons (19-7, 10-1).

Both teams finish the regular season Friday.

“This is fantastic,” OLP coach Darice Carnaje said. “This is a little under winning (the championship game) against them last year, but it’s still a big win.

“I have to go to Mass every weekday next week. And confession, too.”

Cathedral led by as much as 14 and was ahead 61-51 with 4:14 to play in regulation.

OLP outscored the Dons 12-2 the rest of the way, tying the game at 63-63 on Sophia Millay’s layup with 29 seconds left.

The lead changed hands five times in overtime.

“We were focused all day,” said Johnson, who finished with 24 points and 17 rebounds despite sitting out the second quarter in foul trouble.

“One of our goals was to win league and we knew we’d have to beat Cathedral for that to happen.

“I’m the ASB commissioner here and my job is to read the scores from all our sports teams over the PA system each morning. It will be so much fun reading this one. I’m going to practice at home to make it a reading no one will ever forget.”

The Dons certainly won’t forget it, again.

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