The Loma Linda Academy Girls Varsity Basketball team clinched at least a tie for the Ambassador League Championship with a convincing victory over Aquinas High School 59-45. The Roadrunners raced to a big lead and coasted during the second half.
Jacqui Jones started the game with a three pointer. Then, Caitlin Terukina used laser-like passes to get the ball into Corrinn Clevenger who led LLA with 8 points in the quarter. Aquinas eventually got untracked with a three pointer by Yoselyn Navarro, but ended up on the short side of a 19-8 score at the end of one quarter.
Terukina turned to shooting during the second quarter hitting two shots from long range. Cece Ewing also had a three pointer and LLA built their lead to 36-13. LLA stifled the Falcons holding them to only 5 free throws during the period.
Unlike the Super Bowl, there was no prolonged power outage, but in the second half, Aquinas clawed their way back into contention. Lindsey Ybarra scored 6 points before getting into foul trouble. Alex Stream led LLA with 3 points as the lead shrunk to 43-27.
With both teams in double bonus, the fourth quarter devolved into a free throw shooting contest. The Falcons got to within 10 points, but Erika Dalida stopped a prolonged shooting drought for LLA by hitting a three pointer. Terukina then iced the game going 7 for 8 from the charity stripe.
Terukina finished the game with 16 points, 8 assists, and 3 steals. Clevenger scored 14 and repeatedly wrestled away rebounds. Dalida finished with one of her better scoring games with 10 points, half of which were in the final period which help maintain a comfortable cushion.
Loma Linda, (22-3, 12-1) remains tied for third place in the latest coaches poll of Division 5AA teams despite its loss to Ontario Christian last week. The Roadrunners will host ACA on Thursday, February 7 at 6 PM on Senior Night. A win over the Eagles would clinch the league title.