Saugus girls basketball traveled west for a CIF-Southern Section Division 2A playoff game against Newbury Park at Newbury Park High School on Thursday.
Down 15-10 after one quarter of play, the Centurions clamped down on defense the rest of the way and came out with a last-second bucket, defeating the Panthers 45-43 to advance to the second round.
“Probably a little nervous to start, we just needed to settle down,” said Saugus head coach Jason Conn. “We were getting good shots, but we couldn’t hit them. Then we started to settle down.”
In the second and third quarters, Saugus (25-3 overall) held Newbury Park to seven and six points respectively, and was able to find its rhythm on offense to claw back into the game.
In the third quarter, Libbie McMahan went for a steal and came down on her foot, ending her night. Saugus didn’t panic and regrouped as Eden MacKenzie and Maliah Sourgose picked up the scoring down the stretch and pushed Saugus forward.
MacKenzie finished with 15 points and a number of key rebounds while Sourgose chipped in with seven points, hitting two 3’s in the game.
“Eden was phenomenal,” Conn said. “She had 15 points and was the reason that we were able to stay in the game. She rebounded and passed, she did a little bit of everything. She really stepped up while Libbie was out.
“Maliah was all over the place. Her shooting in the second half kept us close. Both girls hit clutch 3’s down the stretch.”
Down 43-40 with 16 seconds left in the game, Saugus shot a 3-pointer. The shot was missed, but Monique Febles, who hadn’t scored a point all game, got the rebound and put the ball back as she got fouled. She made the free throw to and tied the game 43-43.
Newbury Park (15-13) called a timeout.
Coming out of the timeout, Newbury Park heaved a pass up towards half court, Febles intercepted the ball and drove in between three defenders and layed in the game-winning basket with one second left.
Saugus moves on to play Palos Verdes at Palos Verdes at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
“This is a quality win and it shows that we have a very deep team,” Conn said. “When one of our girls goes down we have someone there to step in and fill the spot.”
Trinity 53, Pilgrim 15
Trinity Towns led the Knights in scoring with 21 points, Hannah Caddow had 10 and Samantha Griesi had five in the win.
Katie Brown and Ellie Howell finished with four points each.
The Knights (12-8) move on to the second round of the CIF-SS Division 5A playoffs where they will face off against Nuview Bridge at 7 p.m.