The Broncos’ “refuse to loose” attitude kicked in once again on Saturday as the Vista Murrieta varsity girls basketball team survived a nail-biter, 61-54, to advance to the CIF Southern Section 1A Semifinals.
The Lady Broncos took a 29-21 lead at the half as Leitasi Cravens carried the team, scoring all of her 13 points in the first two periods.
“What a great team win for our girls," said Vista Murrieta Coach Chris Jones. "Our girls did a terrific job dealing with adversity once again, despite foul trouble and a huge size difference inside. We got significant contributions from several to hold onto our lead down the stretch. Leitasi carried us offensively in the first half, and Serafina hit her free throws down the stretch.”
Serafina Maulupe exploded for 18 of her 21 points in the second half to pace the Broncos to victory.
“I’m so proud of the energy and fight in our team," said Maulupe, the Broncos' team captain. "This was a team win. Everyone in this game contributed. We had to run the tempo of this game. We couldn't let this game get out of control. I'm proud of how we controlled it.”
And control it they did.
Up 48-36 in the fourth period, the Rebels came storming back with 10 unanswered points to close the gap. After a Rebel three-pointer to tighten the score at 50-49, the Broncos methodically made their free throws to put the game away.
"Once we took the lead in the second quarter, we never gave up," Coach Jones said.
Jaelyn Brown, although limited by foul trouble, scored 13 points and had 14 rebounds. Fellow freshman Brittney Reed had 10 points and 11 boards. Yuendie Guridi and Alexis Marshall both scored two points apiece.
After two CIF playoff games on the road, the Broncos will finally be back home to host Canyon Springs on Tuesday night. The Cougars beat Buena High School to advance to the semifinals.
“We are looking forward to a home game on Tuesday night," Coach Jones said.
Game time is 7 p.m. Come out and support the Broncos as they compete for the CIF Southern Section Division 1A title.