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GIRLS BASKETBALL: Tigers Roll to Big NorCal Win

Notre Dame clinches program's first-ever victory in state tourney in blowout fashion; Tigers face mammoth test in St. Mary's of Berkeley in Division IV semis on Sat.

The Score: Notre Dame 50, Lassen 27.

The Star: Notre Dame High’s Gianna Bertana spearheaded a defensive effort that dismantled visiting Lassen (Susanville) during the first half of the California Interscholastic Federation Division IV second-round playoff game. Using her superior height and quickness, the junior guard took Lassen (17-14) completely out of its offense at the outset as the Tigers set the tone for the program’s inaugural win in the Northern California playoffs.

The Turning Point: If Notre Dame wasn’t in complete control after taking a 15-2 lead at the end of the first quarter, the Tigers certainly were after Cynthia White connected on a pair of 3-pointers in the second period. White scored all nine of her points in the second quarter as Notre Dame streaked into halftime with a 31-7 advantage.

The Quote: “The kids are ecstatic. I’m ecstatic for the kids. I’m ecstatic for Notre Dame. Our volleyball team set a good tone this year in Division IV by going to the NorCal final. This is a great time for Notre Dame. … And we want to keep it going.” – Tigers coach Josh Davenport, on the emotions of a historic stretch for his program and the school’s athletic department overall.

What’s Next? A formidable challenge. Notre Dame (15-14) advances to a date in the Northern California Division IV semifinals with St. Mary’s (Berkeley), the No. 1 seed. St. Mary’s, the 2010 state runner-up, boasts a 28-4 record despite having played an elite schedule. Notre Dame plays at St. Mary’s on Saturday at 6 p.m.

The Bottom Line: The Tigers made program history by winning a state postseason game for the first time, and they did so in convincing fashion. Six days after securing , Notre Dame recorded another impressive feat. … Lassen, the Northern Section champion, struggled mightily to get into its offensive sets early on. Often when it did, the shot clock had precious little time left. … Katie Flaherty, whose pair of late 3-pointers helped top Scotts Valley in the CCS final, had a solid all-around game. The senior forward contributed nine points, four assists and four steals. … Senior post Emily Morris was ill and played roughly half the game, totaling a game-high 12 points and four rebounds. … After enduring plenty of lumps in the West Catholic Athletic League, Notre Dame is 4-0 in the postseason. But the Tigers may face their stiffest test of the year on Saturday. … St. Mary’s is the top-ranked team in the state in Division IV and is No. 8 overall in the state according to CalHiSports.com. “I would consider them favorably to Presentation out of our league,” said Davenport, highlighting those teams’ similar sets. “Talent-wise, they’re as good as a Mitty.” … This year, St. Mary’s, which has played in the last two NorCal Division IV finals, owns wins over Mitty (54-49) and St. Ignatius (47-37), and it lost to Presentation (53-47). Among others, St. Mary’s has played Carondolet, St. Mary’s of Stockton, Berkeley and Pinewood. … “St. Mary’s is a very talented team. They don’t have many weaknesses that I can see,” Davenport said. “We’re definitely going to be the underdog on Saturday, but that’s OK because we’ve been the underdog all year. Notre Dame girls are geared to compete and they’ll go out there and give it their best shot.”

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Notre Dame 50, Lassen 27

L – 2 5 14 6 -- 27

ND – 15 16 12 7 -- 50

L: Jackson 0 2-2 2, Ratkey 1 1-2 4, Shaffer 0 1-4 1, Parady 3 0-1 6, Wemple 1 0-3 2, Hicks 4 1-2 9, Wilson 1 0-0 2, Delcarlo 0 1-2 1. Totals: 10 6-16 27.

ND: Brazil 1 3-6 5, Bertana 2 1-2 5, Grigg 0 1-2 1, Soderer 2 0-0 5, White 3 1-3 9, Dames 0 2-2 2, Flaherty 4 1-3 9, Larson 1 0-0 2, Morris 6 0-0 12. Totals: 19 9-18 50.

3-point goals: L: Ratkey. ND: White 2, Soderer.

Records: Lassen 17-14. Notre Dame 15-14.

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