The Trojans swept through the first two games of the Diocese of Oakland playoffs, beating Santa Monica from West Diablo league 20-7. They shut down St. Anne of Discovery Bay 19-4 in the semifinal game, setting up a rematch of last year’s finals clash with 22-0 Santa Maria of Orinda, the top-seeded champions of the West Diablo League.
“It seemed like déjà vu,” said coach Jeff Cast of Holy Rosary. “Last year both teams were undefeated going into the championship game, with Holy Rosary at 14-0 and Santa Maria at 23-0. We played the exact same teams as last year to get to finals and both teams in the finals were undefeated again this year.
Santa Maria gave Holy Rosary the only blemish in its 41-1 overall record since the team’s inception. “This was the team we wanted to face in the championship,” said Cast.
The scenario could not have been scripted any better. With Holy Rosary down 7-8 after the first quarter, the Trojans got their fast break going in the second quarter and jumped out to a 17-10 halftime lead.
Santa Maria turned up the defense and cut the lead to 20-18 after the third quarter, setting up the nail-biting finale. Santa Maria tied it up with a steal, and Holy Rosary came back with a jumper from the elbow by Sunmi Da Silva. Kylie Cast knocked down a 15-footer, and a power move by Sarah Morals inside put the Trojans up by three with 47 seconds left on the clock.
Santa Maria guard hit a bomb from the three-point line to cut the lead to one. Holy Rosary was able to play keepaway over the final 36 seconds to run out the clock for the victory. Jackie Brousard led all scorers with eight points and Michaela Vanderklugt dominated the boards with 12 rebounds.
“I’m very proud of the girls’ accomplishments this year,” said Cast. “Everyone was gunning for them after going undefeated in league last year, and to do it again this year was a credit to how hard they worked all year. It was a real team effort.”