The Miramonte High girls basketball team's defensive pressure comes in consistent waves, one play after the other.
Salesian found that out first hand as Miramonte earned a 72-57 victory Saturday in the championship game of the West Coast Jamboree's Diamond Division.
"It was paramount," said Miramonte coach Kelly Sopak about the importance of his team's defensive pressure. "We are going to live and die with our defensive pressure and our transition offense."
Miramonte (11-1) had its full-court press and trap in high gear from the beginning of the game, forcing the visiting Pride (9-3) into rushing throws and turnovers.
The Matadors took a 12-4 lead in the first 3 minutes, 52 seconds of the game and did not trail after that. Salesian star Mariya Moore was hampered with foul trouble throughout the game and fouled out with 5:26 to go. She scored 12 points, including eight in the second half, and also had 10 rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Miramonte was paced in scoring by Sabrina Ionescu with 20 points, including 13 in the second half. Teammate Carly Gill added 19 points and Miramonte's Breanna Alford had 12 rebounds.
Zoe Correal had 13 points and 10 rebounds for Salesian.
Carondelet 90, Sacramento 58: With a 32-point effort from junior point guard Natalie Romeo, the Cougars earned a spot in the West Coast Jamboree's Platinum Division final for the second time in three years.
The semifinal showdown between two perennial Northern California powers wasn't close after the first quarter. Carondelet (8-1), which finished second in this tournament two years ago before skipping the event last season, took control of the game with an 11-0 run in the first quarter and never looked back.
The Cougars will play the winner of a late semifinal between Berkeley and Chaminade in Monday's 1:30 p.m. championship game at Deer Valley High.
As usual, the Cougars were the smaller team but made up for their size disadvantage against Sacramento (8-2) with their quickness.
"We just ran up and down the floor, we do that a lot because of our lack of height," Romeo said. "We try to condition a lot so we're in shape."
That strategy led to quick transition buckets, especially in the third quarter, when Romeo tallied 21 of her points. Seemingly every shot she put up in the period went in.
Midway through the third quarter, Romeo intercepted a pass and scored an easy layup at the other end of the floor, pushing the lead to 17 points and forcing Sacramento to call a timeout.
But Romeo and the Cougars then went on a 15-2 run to put the game far out of reach. Carondelet led 74-43 after three quarters.
Romeo wasn't just an effective scorer -- she also finished with six steals and six assists.
Lauren Nicolosi (13 points) and Makenzie Cast (11 points), also reached double-digits for Carondelet.
-- Stephanie Hammon
Chaminade 62, Berkeley 57: Some hot 3-point shooting by Christa Fandino propelled the Eagles past Berkeley in the late West Coast Jamboree Platinum Division semifinal.
Berkeley had a 30-26 advantage at the half, but Fandino caught fire late in the third quarter to help give Chaminade the lead for good. She hit three consecutive shots from long range as part of a 19-2 Chaminade run.
Desire Finnie tried to rally the Yellowjackets, scoring 11 of her 21 points in the final period. Her three-point play with 55 seconds left got Berkeley within 56-52, but Chaminade did enough down the stretch to hold off the Yellowjackets.
Rachel Howard added 17 points for Berkeley.
-- Stephanie Hammon