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Prep basketball: Cents set up rematch in second round

Saugus gets 17 points from Dawe; will play Burroughs

Posted: February 18, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: February 18, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Saugus girls basketball overcame a slow start Thursday to defeat Marina 45-33 in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division IIAA playoffs.

Both squads struggled early, trading missed baskets for much of the first half before Saugus went to its strength — the post.

Power forward Megan Dawe led the Centurions with 17 points, six rebounds and one steal.

“(Marina) went to a zone (in the second half), which opened up the middle for us,” said Saugus head coach Kent Eaton. “We told her to put it on the floor and take it to the hole.”

The Vikings’ only offensive answer was guard Alyssa Kinoshita, who finished with 15 points and two steals, including three 3-point baskets.

“We knew that the threes were going to come,” said Saugus head coach Kent Eaton. “But they’re going to come in streaks.”

Fortunately for the Centurions, those streaks were few and far between as Saugus held the Vikings to 25 percent shooting from the field.

Marina wouldn’t go away, however, as Kinoshita and Sloan Turner combined for all of the Vikings’ 11 first half points.

Despite outshooting Marina 32 percent to 14 percent from the field in the first half, the Centurions went into halftime up just five points at 16-11.

“Down by five at the half on the road with three of our five starters having no playoff experience,” said Marina head coach Butch Fredlow. “We were feeling pretty good about that.”

That feeling wouldn’t last.

The Centurions came out strong in the second half, quickly opening up a 10-point lead after a basket by Dawe and a 3-point shot by Jordan Oster, with 6:45 to play in the third quarter.

“We went in (at halftime) and talked about how much we wanted this win,” Dawe said. “If we want to win, we need to start taking care of the ball ... and at least hit the rim.”

Dawe followed her own advice, as the Centurions began to assert themselves inside, despite matching up against a bigger player in Turner.

“She’s taller than me,” Dawe said. “But I could move quicker than her. We worked on the double down (in practice), so that prepared me for having a bigger person on me.”

Her most important points of the night would come in the fourth quarter, as Marina saw momentum swing in its favor twice down the stretch.

With 7:24 remaining in the game, Sloan brought the Vikings within nine.

On the other end Dawe was fouled while converting a layup over Turner and hit the ensuing free throw to put Saugus up 35-23.

With 5:15 remaining in the game, Marina’s Lauren Steele hit a 3-point basket to pull the Vikings within seven at 35-28.

Dawe answered again, hitting another layup and free throw after being fouled on the attempt.

The game would never be as close again.

Saugus’ Kim Smither had five points and 10 rebounds and Crystal Makous contributed with seven rebounds.

The Centurions will be at Burroughs of Burbank on Saturday at 7 p.m., where they lost 43-30 on December 2.

“We’re a different team than when they saw us earlier in the season,” Eaton said. “We’re looking to compete and see if we can get a win.”


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