Millikan girls’ basketball led wire-to-wire during its 65-53 victory over Walnut in the CIF Southern Section Division 2AA playoff game at home on Saturday night.
The Rams rode the momentum from their running-clock playoff opener against Norco on Thursday, and led 17-4 after the first quarter.
“We were rolling,” Millikan coach Lorene Morgan said. “We were hitting our threes, getting rebounds, putbacks and had great effort on defense.”
Millikan led 44-20 at halftime, but lost its edge in the second half as Walnut chipped away at the lead. Morgan said her young active team has a tendency to get emotionally drained late in games, and that they need to learn form this experience.
“The lesson is that if this happens on Wednesday night there won’t be another game this year to learn a lesson from,” Morgan said. “That’s the bottom line.”
Millikan (26-3) will visit Orange Lutheran on Wednesday for the quarterfinal round. This is the first time since 2015 that the Rams have won two playoff games. They won the Division 1AA championship in 2014.
The Rams were led by sophomore Lesley Garcia (17 points), sophomore Vanessa Smith (16 points) and senior Emily Newkirk (13 points) but the key to the game was 3-point shooting. Millikan made six of its first nine shots from behind the arc. This season, more than half of the Rams’ field goal attempts have been 3-pointers.
Walnut senior Kaitlin Day scored a game-high 24 points, but the Mustangs ran out of time and never cut the Millikan lead to single digits after the first quarter.