Freshman Karen Xin scored 18 points, including four 3-pointers, and the Menlo School girls basketball team rallied past Harker 54-49 to claim the Central Coast Section Division IV title on its home court Saturday.
Menlo (12-8) was seeded third in the state NorCal Regional Division II and will host Alhambra (23-7) at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
The teams have one opponent in common in Acalanes. Menlo beat Acalanes by 15 in a tournament at Terra Nova. Alhambra and Acalanes split two league games, most recently Alhambra won by eight on its home court.
Menlo beat Harker for the second time this season, the only two losses suffered by the WBAL Skyline champions.
The top seeded Knights began to pull away in the fourth quarter. Senior Jazlin Chen sank a pair of free throws to give Menlo a 41-39 advantage with 4:40 left. Xin followed with a 3-pointer, getting an assist from Shannon Li.
Chen and Li each delivered back-to-back putbacks, giving the Knights a 51-46 advantage with 20.6 seconds left and Harker cold not make a run.
Freshman Angelica Chou added 12 points and seven rebounds for the Knights. Chen contributed 10 points, four rebounds and three blocks and was a presence in the post.
The Knights relied on their playoff experience. They competed in the Open quarterfinals and semifinals the past three seasons and won a state championship in 2019.
"We knew (Harker) really was hungry in (their first CCS final); we knew we would have to come back with that same energy," Li said. " We just had to stay calm and play the game, trust each other and execute. I think we did that today. We came together and got the dub. I'm really proud,"
CIF State/Regional Championships
No. 9 St. Francis at No. 8 Laguna Creek, 6 p.m.
No. 10 Palo Alto at No. 7 Cardinal Newman, 6 p.m.
No. 14 Alhambra at No. 3 Menlo School, 6 p.m.
No. 10 Clovis at No. 7 Priory, 6 p.m.
No. 14 Los Altos vs. No. 3 Branson at Dominican College, 6 p.m.
No. 5 Oak Ridge at No. 4 Pinewood, 6 p.m.
No. 16 Dougherty Valley at No. 1 Sacred Heart Prep, 6 p.m.
No. 12 Menlo-Atherton at No. 5 Vanden, 8 p.m.
No. 10 University at No. 7 St. Francis, 6 p.m.
No. 9 Manteca at No. 8 Menlo, 8 p.m.
No. 9 Athenian at No. 8 Mountain View, 6 p.m.
No. 13 Mariposa County at No. 4 Priory, 8 p.m.
No. 6 Montgomery at No. 3 St. Francis, 5 p.m.
No. 6 Piedmont at No. 3 Sacred Heart Prep, 3 p.m.
No. 5 Clovis North at No. 4 Mountain View, 5 p.m.
No. 7 St. Francis at No. 2 Carondelet, 4:30 p.m.
No. 6 Campolindo at No. 3 Los Altos, 5 p.m.