SANTA ANA -- The Pasadena Poly and Chadwick girls' basketball teams met for the third time this season in the championship game of the CIF Southern Section Division 5A playoffs.
For the third time, Poly won. This time, 55-42, behind 32 points from junior Michelle Miller at Mater Dei High School on Saturday.
“We’ve had ups and downs with that team,” said Poly coach Kim Weber. “To win by as much as we did was sweet.”
Poly won the Prep League championship with a perfect 12-0 record. Chadwick was third in the Prep League, its only two losses in league coming at the hands of Poly. Poly won the first time the two teams met, 47-33. The second game was a little closer. Poly won, 44-43.
The Division 5A championship game resembled a bit of the previous two.
Chadwick took a short-lived, one-point lead in the second quarter. Haley Bush scored a basket and was fouled with 3:25 to play in the second. She made her free throw to complete the three-point play and give her team a 16-15 lead.
Poly went on an 8-2 run to end the second quarter and take a 23-18 lead at the half. Miller led Poly with eight points in the first half. Bush led all scorers with 12 points and had nine rebounds at halftime.
Miller came alive in the second half, scoring 24 points and was 6-for-10 from the field. She was also 13-for-19 from the free-throw line and made one 3-pointer.
She scored seven points in the third quarter as Poly built a 37-31 lead.
“Maybe we relaxed for a little bit,” Jarrett said. “Poly’s a good team. Michelle Miller’s a good basketball player. We couldn’t contain her.”
Miller took control of the game in the fourth quarter, scoring 17 points and helping her team build a double-digits lead. Poly went up by 10 points, 42-32, with 6:17 to play.
“She wanted to prove to everybody she is a great player on a great team,” Weber said.
Poly won its first CIF championship since 1992. It was the fifth time Poly has reached the CIF Southern Section championship game.
Sophomore Courtney Foster scored 11 points for Poly. She made one 3-pointer and was 4-for-6 from the free-throw line.
“Courtney stepped up and hit some big shots for us,” Weber said.
Bush scored 24 points and had 14 rebounds for Chadwick.