ALBANY -- Gabby Green was dominant, scoring 22 points, grabbing 12 rebounds and adding four assists and three blocked shots to lead the St. Mary's High girls basketball team to a 54-48 win over Salesian on Saturday in the North Coast Section Division IV championship game at Albany High.
St. Mary's (29-4) has now beaten Salesian in three of their four meetings this season. The rivals can potentially meet again in the California Interscholastic Federation Tournament, which begins next week, although the Panthers would be a candidate to play in the CIF's new Open Division.
"My team was getting me open looks and I was taking advantage of it," Green said. "I'm really fortunate to play with people who definitely look for me and know my strengths and weaknesses."
Green and her teammates ratcheted up the defense to start the second half, holding the Pride (26-7) scoreless for the first four minutes and two seconds of the third quarter. Salesian didn't get its first basket of the quarter until there was 1:58 left on the clock. A 10-1 run made it 44-27.
"Defense is always a big part whenever we play them," Green said. "Mariya (Moore) is really good getting to the basket so we have to make sure that we control her and settle her down."
Salesian fought back and did cut the deficit to five points in the fourth quarter, but never quite put enough of a run together to challenge.
Pride coach Stephen Pezzola said the bigger issue to him was his team's free throw shooting -- Salesian made just seven of 22 from the line (32 percent).
"I think that we normally shoot about 65 or 70 percent from the line," he said. "And we shot (32) percent from the line. Games can have flows -- like in the second half, we didn't start off as well as we wanted to. But hit some more free throws ..."
Moore led the Pride with 15 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Kian McNair added 13 points. Zavanna Negron came off of the bench for St. Mary's to score 10 points.