MORAGA -- When the game is on the line, Mariya Moore knows its time to take over.
The junior guard made all the big plays down the stretch to lead the Salesian High girls basketball team to a thrilling 62-59 overtime victory over chief rival St. Mary's on Friday at Saint Mary's College.
Moore poured in 37 points and was responsible for all of the Pride's overtime scoring, helping her team take sole possession of first place in the Tri-County Athletic League-Rock Division.
"She makes everybody better and she knows when she needs to take the shots," Salesian coach Steve Pezzola said of Moore. "Every once in awhile she and I will look at each other and it's Mariya time. She needs to have the ball in her hands and something good will happen."
Moore's clutch performance also included a pair of free throws with 31 seconds left in regulation that gave Salesian a 56-54 lead.
But St. Mary's (12-4, 4-1 TCAL) forced overtime when Taylor Berry was fouled with 8.2 seconds left and hit both of her shots from the line. Salesian (16-4, 5-0 TCAL) had a good look at the buzzer, but the shot didn't fall and the teams played four more minutes.
Berry scored on St. Mary's first possession of overtime, but the Panthers managed just one more point the rest of the way on a Gabby Green free throw.
Two of Northern California's top Division IV squads, Salesian and St. Mary's have seen a lot of each other over the past few years. While the
Salesian got off to a poor start in its two wins last year, so the Pride didn't panic when St. Mary's started the game on an 11-0 run.
Moore, who had 17 points by halftime, directed Salesian on a second quarter rally. The Pride trailed 31-30 at half and the score was close the rest of the way with neither team ever leading by more than five points.
"Every time we play them it's a very emotional game," said Moore, who finished the night 19 of 23 from the free throw line. "Basically what we've been working on this whole year is playing them."
Green led St. Mary's with 20 points and Mikayla Cowling added 11.