By John Blomster
Sacred Heart Cathedral 67, Aptos 54
Third-seeded Sacred Heart Cathedral conquered visiting Aptos High School behind offensive leader Kamilah Jackson in a 67-54 win in the CIF-Central Coast Section Division III playoffs Saturday night.
After a chaotic first quarter that featured three lead changes and ended in a 16-16 tie, Sacred Heart Cathedral (13-12) put the lead away for good, outscoring sixth-seeded Aptos (19-8) by a margin of 51-38 in the remaining three quarters.
“We made a nice little comeback (in the third quarter), but we just had a couple of critical turnovers,” said Aptos Head Coach Anthony Pepperdine. “West Catholic teams play extremely, extremely aggressively full court. We were prepared for that, but no matter how prepared you are, at some point you’re going to turn the ball over.”
The Mariners pulled within five points early in the third quarter but were unable to cope with Jackson’s aggressive presence inside the key.
“We try to go inside out [with Jackson] because, number one, she’s a great passer,” said Sacred Heart Head Coach Mike Carey. “We know defensively, they’re going to tag on her and to try to stop her, so we run our offense through her, and it helps everyone else out because it opens up the outside shots.”
Jackson, a senior, had a game-high 25 points.
Sacred Heart Cathedral will have home court advantage in the semifinals against St. Ignatius (18-8) Wednesday.
“We have to come ready to play because we know they’re a good team,” said Jackson. “We’re going to have to take care of the ball and just play really good defense.”
St. Ignatius 51, Soquel 32
Second-seeded St. Ignatius Prep effectively shut down the Soquel High School offense in a 51-32 victory in the quarterfinal round of the CIF-Central Coast Section Division III playoffs Saturday night at Sacred Heart Cathedral High School.
St. Ignatius (18-8) held Soquel (16-11) to 10 points or fewer in every quarter and outscored the Knights 27- 15 in the first half and 24-17 in the second.
Wildcat senior Eilise O’Connor turned in another commanding performance, posting 17 points and 10 rebounds, both game-highs.
“We were more patient on offense,” said St. Ignatius Head Coach Michael Mulkerrins. “That was the key. [Going into the semifinals] I like our chances against anybody.”
St. Ignatius will face third-seeded Sacred Heart Cathedral High School (13-12) in the semifinals Wednesday at Sacred Heart Cathedral.