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GIRLS BASKETBALL: Notre Dame 'D' Delivers

Hosts limit Gunderson to nine second-half points in CCS Division IV quarterfinal victory; Tigers look to advance to first final since 1999 when facing Soquel in semis.

The Score: Notre Dame Tigers 47, Gunderson Grizzlies 29.

The Star: Notre Dame High junior wing Gianna Bertana keyed her team’s sterling defensive effort in the Central Coast Section Division IV quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon. The junior wing played the biggest role in holding Gunderson’s Irene Chavez to five points. Chavez had scored 32 in a second-round game.

The Turning Point: After trailing behind by one point at halftime thanks to early foul trouble, host Notre Dame (12-14) cranked up its defensive intensity in the third quarter to swing the game decisively in its favor. Katie Flaherty (seven points, eight rebounds) hit a few early baskets and the second-seeded Tigers started forcing turnovers to outscore No. 7 seed Gunderson (20-9) by a 19-6 margin in the period.

The Quote: “It’s absolutely an opportunity being in Division IV. … The (West Catholic Athletic League) absolutely prepares you for anything you’re going to see. We’re not going to see any new things we haven’t seen before. Whether it be a pressure defense or an offensive juggernaut, we’ve seen it.” – Notre Dame coach Josh Davenport, on his team’s chances of making a deep postseason run.

What’s Next? Notre Dame looks to break through the semifinal barrier. The Tigers, who host No. 3 seed Soquel (20-7) on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., have lost in the semifinals four straight years.

The Bottom Line: After taking its licks in the WCAL, Notre Dame proved it’s ready to flex its muscles in CCS. U.C. San Diego-bound post Emily Morris had her way with 20 points, and the hosts’ swarming defense allowed just nine second-half points. Fortunately for the Tigers, they landed in a Division IV bracket that appears ripe for the taking. Each year since 2002, Notre Dame had played in Division III – the land of WCAL heavyweights Sacred Heart Cathedral and St. Ignatius, among others. The Tigers, No. 9 in last week's , haven’t won a CCS title since 1999 (in Division III). With a veteran-laden team and a favorable divisional alignment, this is Notre Dame’s best chance in recent memory to secure a section crown.

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Notre Dame 47, Gunderson 29

G – 9 11 6 3 -- 29

ND – 9 10 19 9 -- 47

G: Chavez 2 0 5, Lorchzo 4 2 14, S. Jaramillo 3 1 7, K. Jaramillo 0 1 1, Rogos 1 0 2. Totals: 10 4 29.

ND: Morris 8 4 20, Flaherty 3 1 7, Larson 1 0 2, Dames 1 0 2, White 2 0 6, Bertana 1 0 2, Brazil 2 2 6, Soderer 1 0 2. Totals: 19 7 47.

3-point goals: G: Lorchzo 4, Chavez. ND: White.

Records: Gunderson 20-9. Notre Dame 12-14.

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