Palisades survives scare from Monroe

LOS ANGELES -- The Palisades girls' basketball team had to fend off a gutsy Monroe team in the final seconds of the CIF City Section Division 2 championship game on Friday night.

Palisades won the game, 53-49, at the Roybal Learning Center to secure its second City Section championship in a row.

But after jumping out to an 18-3, first-quarter lead, Palisades needed to clamp down on defense in the closing seconds of the game.

Monroe cut the Palisades’ lead to two points, 51-49, with 19 seconds to play. Mayo Campo hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to four points before Ayisat Afolabi put back a missed shot to bring Monroe within two.

But that was as close as Monroe would get. Ashlie Bruner made two free throws at the end of the game to give her team a four-point win.

“This is definitely a great step in the right direction for our program,” Palisades coach Torino Johnson said. “Our goal is much bigger than just this game.”

Torino said his girls have a state championship in their sights.

Donae Moguel scored 17 points and had 10 rebounds to lead Palisades. Skai Thompson had 11 points and made three 3-pointers.

Afolabi led three players from Monroe in double figures. She scored 18, had 12 rebounds and five assists.

Campo scored 13 points and was 4-for-7 from 3-point territory. Jecenica Trinidad scored 12 points.

“I couldn’t be more proud of them,” Monroe coach Quincy Brooks said. “We’ve always been a team of fight. We never laid down.”