Sports

Big comeback lifts Castilleja to division hoops title

Junior Lauren Rantz buried a three-pointer with three seconds left to give Castilleja a 48-45 victory over Mercy-Burlingame, completing the largest comeback in the school's basketball history while giving the Gators their fourth league title in nine seasons.

Castilleja trailed by as many as 19 in the first half as the Gators (8-2, 13-11) managed only a season-low seven points over the first two frames. Castilleja stormed out of the gate in the second half at College of San Mateo and outscored the Crusaders, 12-3, to open the third -- led by junior Olivia Nicholls, who tallied seven of her 11 points in the period.

Trailing by seven entering the fourth, the Gators continued to make up ground before tying the score at 38 with five minutes left to play. Mercy scored a pair of buckets to push its lead back to four, but the Gators answered with a bucket and a three-pointer from freshman Paige Vermeer to give the Gators their first lead with 1:40 remaining.

Mercy then split a pair of free throws to re-tie the game before Rantz hit a layup to put the Gators up two with 40 seconds left. After coming up with a quick defensive stop, the Gators failed to extend their lead and ended up fouling Mercy on a loose ball. Mercy made both free throws to once again tie the game with 26 seconds left.

Out of time outs, the Gators wisely dribbled down the clock to ensure the final shot of the contest. Freshman Yasmeen Afifi then found Rantz at the top of the key as she caught, turned and drilled the third three-point field goal of her career. Mercy called its final timeout with three seconds remaining, but was unable to get off a game-tying attempt as Vermeer disrupted the inbounds pass long enough for the clock to expire.

The Gators were led by Rantz, who scored a game-high 15 points, 13 coming in the second half. Rantz also collected team-highs of 11 rebounds and seven blocks. Vermeer and Nicholls added 12 and 11 points, respectively, all coming after halftime while Afifi led Castilleja with a career-high four dishes to go along with eight boards. Castilleja shot 54 percent from the field in the second half and committed only one turnover.

With the victory, the Gators assured themselves of moving back to the Foothill Division of the WBAL next season as well as home court for the league playoffs play-in game on Monday. Castilleja will host the loser of the Harker-King's Academy game being played Friday.

— Stephen Kauffman/Castilleja Athletics

Comments

Posted by A.N, a resident of Menlo Park
on Feb 10, 2012 at 11:36 am

great job gators


Posted by JP, a resident of another community
on Feb 10, 2012 at 6:38 pm

Way to go Lauren! Congratulations Gators!


If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Veggie Grill coming soon to Mountain View's San Antonio Center
By Elena Kadvany | 23 comments | 3,427 views

Is HBO's Silicon Valley Any Good?
By Anita Felicelli | 23 comments | 2,259 views

Finding mentors in would-be bosses
By Jessica T | 0 comments | 1,948 views

A memorable Paly prom
By Sally Torbey | 7 comments | 1,137 views

Chinese Immersion
By Paul Losch | 7 comments | 430 views