GARDEN GROVE – Orangewood Academy’s girls basketball team found its signature victory Monday night thanks to a second-half rally that pushed until the final seconds.
Jacqueline Saucedo scored off a rebound with about six seconds left and the No. 7 Spartans knocked a pass out of bounds as time expired for a 55-54 victory against third-ranked Rosary in the Presion Showcase at Orangewood Academy.
Rosary led 54-51 after a free throw by Chasey Santos, but Gabriela Rosas scored on a drive with 15.6 seconds left to trim the deficit to one. Orangewood Academy pressed full court and Itzel Rubio forced a turnover on Rosary’s baseline with 12 seconds left.
Saucedo grabbed the rebound from the Spartans’ first shot from mid-air under the basket and helped cap a comeback from a 10-point deficit in the first period and an 11-point margin in the third.
“We were searching for that signature win over a big-time opponent,” said Oxford Academy coach Leslie Aragon, whose team has lost to Brea Olinda, Sierra Canyon and Los Alamitos. “They’re the defending state Division 3 champ and they’re every bit as good as advertised. … We got a big one after this. We have Fairmont.”
Orangewood (11-7) plays host to rival Fairmont Prep on Saturday night while Rosary (11-8) plays at Mater Dei on Thursday.
Rosas led the Spartans with 22 points and five steals. She made two of her three 3-pointers in the third quarter to help set the stage for the fourth.
The score was tied at 43, 49 and 51 in the final seven minutes.
Saucedo finished with 13 points while freshman Aixchel Hernandez scored 8 points off the bench.
Rosary’s TCU-bound center Rebekah Obinma was almost unstoppable in the post, finishing with 24 points on 11 of 16 shooting from the floor. She added 14 rebounds and three blocks.
Rosary point guard Kate Goostrey scored six of her 12 points in the fourth period while Santos broke a 51-51 tie with a layup with 41 seconds left.
In other Presion games:
No. 1 Mater Dei 66,…