In a fast-paced girls basketball game Saturday between Miramonte and Archbishop Mitty-San Jose, it was two freshmen who keyed the Matadors to a 69-55 victory.
Miramonte's Sabrina Ionescu had a game-high 24 points and Keana Delos Santos scored 15 of her 17 points in the second half at the Campolindo/Bentley Shootout at Bentley School in Lafayette.
"They are playing like they are seniors. They are not playing like freshmen," said Miramonte coach Kelly Sopak, who also noted the performance of freshman Uriah Howard (eight points). "In the biggest games, they are stepping up."
Miramonte (19-1) was trailing the Monarchs 26-17 in the second quarter when an inside basket by Howard started a 15-4 run to end the half. The Matadors also scored the first five points of the second half for a 37-30 advantage.
Mitty (15-5), the defending California Interscholastic Federation Division II state champions, took a 41-40 lead later in the quarter on a layup by Jahnay Anderson. She also connected on one of her five 3-pointers with 1 minute, 40 seconds remaining in the third quarter to tie the score at 46. She finished with a team-high 17 points.
But Delos Santos immediately responded with a 3-pointer, starting an 8-2 run, and Miramonte led the rest of the game.
Both teams pushed the ball up the floor and applied defensive pressure throughout. But Miramonte's nonstop ball-hawking defense eventually wore down the Monarchs.
Romeo finished with a game-high 29 points and scored more than half of her team's fourth-quarter points.
A 3-pointer by Rachel Howard gave Berkeley a 52-44 lead with 5:44 seconds remaining in the game. But, nine seconds later, Howard fouled out of the game with 12 points.
"That was the turning point of the game," Berkeley coach Cheryl Draper said.
With Berkeley's Desire Finnie -- who scored a team-high 23 points -- also in foul trouble, Carondelet revved up its attack and went on a 13-0 run. It never trailed after that.
Makenzie Cast added 12 points for the Cougars. Jaimonie Welch-Coleman had 14 points for Berkeley.
After originally committing to Cal, De La Salle High's Victor Egu now plans to play football at Yale.
Egu, expecting to play linebacker at Cal, had given his verbal commitment to Jeff Tedford in early November. After Tedford was fired, the 6-foot-3, 230-pound senior didn't see himself fitting in the Bears' system anymore. Egu played defensive end for the Spartans in their 15-0 season but expects to play linebacker at Yale.
"The new coaching staff informed me that they wanted me to play defensive end, which I was fine with," Egu said. "But they were full at that position. They didn't need me, really. I thought, I'm not going to stay where I'm not really needed."
-- Stephanie Hammon