Carondelet went toe-to-toe with one of the best high school girls basketball teams in the nation Saturday night, but it came up just short.
Mater Dei-Santa Ana, ranked No. 2 in the nation according to MaxPreps.com, pulled out an 85-74 victory at Las Positas College in the semifinals of the West Coast Jamboree's Platinum Division.
The Monarchs (10-0) will face St. Mary's-Stockton in the title game Monday at 7:30 p.m. at Las Positas. The Cougars will play Salesian in the third-place game at 6 p.m.
"We did a little bit better the first half, running, taking chances and getting them out of their offense," Carondelet coach Margaret Gartner said. "The second half they did a little bit better getting into their stuff. I think we got a little tired."
The Cougars' biggest problem was shooting. Carondelet (6-2) was just 10 of 39 (26 percent) from 3-point range. That helped offset a solid defensive game where the Cougars forced 16 turnovers compared with nine of their own.
However, there was only so much Carondelet could do defensively on Katie Lou Samuelson, a 6-foot-3 junior who can do damage underneath as well as from long range. Samuelson scored a game-high 33 points and grabbed eight rebounds. She made 3 of 5 from behind the arc.
MaKenzie Cast led the Cougars with 26 points, although she made just 6 of 18 attempts from 3-point range. Natalie Romeo added 21 points, making 3 of 12 from long distance.
St. Mary's-Stockton 83, Salesian 67: Brijanee Moore scored 26 points to lead the Rams over the Pride in the other semifinal game of the Platinum Division at Las Positas.
Salesian (6-3) got an outstanding game from its own Moore -- Mariya Moore had 25 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. However, that was not enough to overcome 28 turnovers by the Pride.
St. Mary's (8-2) has forced 59 turnovers in two games of the tournament.
"Our girls played hard, but we didn't execute the game plan," Salesian coach Steve Pezzola said. "For whatever reason we weren't able to execute it. That's a lot of turnovers for us. Their pressure's good because they are a very well-coached team. They double the ball and they're in the passing lanes."
When Mariya Moore made a spectacular drive through traffic for a layup with 5:12 to go in the third quarter, the game was tied at 41. That was the end of the rally, however. Kat Tudor immediately hit a 3-pointer and St. Mary's never trailed again. The Rams led by 11 at the end of the quarter and built the lead to 17 early in the fourth quarter.
Zoe Correal added 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Pride.