Dragons next for Lady Eagles

Del Oro girls basketball
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It's no secret that whichever team comes out on top of this year's CIF Sac-Joaquin Sec-tion girls Div. III basketball playoff tournament, they're probably going to have to go through state and national powerhouses Sacramento or St. Mary's of Stockton to do it. That's the challenge that faced the Del Oro Lady Eagles last night as the Black and Gold lined up against the Sacramento High Lady Dragons who were the No. 2 seeded team for the Div. III purposes and the top-ranked team in the Sacramento area. Sacramento has been im-pressive in their first two playoff games with a 113-43 win over Manteca in its opener and a 91-54 rout of Sonora in the second round. If the Lady Eagles were able to upend the Dragons in the game which was played at Galt High, Del Oro would earn a berth into Friday night's 7:30 p.m. Div. III title game set for Arco Arena. The Del Oro-Sacramento winner will meet the St.Mary's-Vanden winner in the championship game. Coach Mike Takayama's Del Oro squad improved to 23-4 on the season by breezing through a pair of home playoff tests last week to advance to the section's final four. On Tuesday, after a close first quarter, the Lady Eagles made quick work of Pioneer in a 65-27 lambasting. After leading 12-8 after one quarter of play, the Lady Eagles broke the tilt open by outgunning their Woodland opponents, 38-11, over the middle two cantos. Both Emilie Johnson and Chelsea Demas hit for 13 points each in the win over Pioneer while Courtney Nolen added 11 and Ali Fletcher and Stevi Bair had six each. Thursday's second round meeting with El Camino was expected to be a down-to-the-wire affair but the Lady Eagles used a strong second half to pull away to an eventual 61-41 decision. Leading just 24-21 at the halftime break, Del Oro took control of the game by erupting for a 23-point third quarter while holding the visitors to just 13 markers over the same stretch. Johnson once again led the way for Del Oro as she scored 24 points. Following in the scoring department were Bair with nine, Fletcher with seven, Kaitlin Lewis with six and Nolen, Chelsea Demas and Heidi Astle with four points each. Samantha Hodge rounded out the offense with four three points. In other Div. III semi-final action last Thursday, Vanden hit a three-pointer as time expired to upset Placer, 54-50; and St. Mary's raced past El Dorado, 82-42.