SAN DIEGO – With the game on the line in the fourth quarter, Norco knew where to turn. And Kasey Philyaw delivered. Philyaw scored 10 of her 13 points during a four-minute stretch in the fourth quarter – including six in a row after San Diego Mt. Carmel had tied the game – as Norco pulled away for a 52-43 victory in a CIFDivision II first-round state playoff game. “Kasey’s been big for us all year in the fourth quarter,” Norco coach Rick Thompson said. “She struggles through three. The thing for us as coaches is to continue to have faith in her.” That faith was rewarded as Philyaw came through while Brittani Philbrook (four points, seven assists, five blocks and three steals) was plagued by foul trouble and Ciera Windham (14 points, nine rebounds, four steals and two blocks) was neutralized by the big front line of Mt. Carmel (23-8). Philbrook fouled out with 1:52 to play. “I know the team needs the spark and I take it upon myself to be that for the team,” Philyaw said. Norco’s Tyler Howard scored a game-high 16 points, shooting 7-of-15 from the floor. With the victory, the third-seeded Cougars (28-3) advance to meet Ayala on Saturday. The winner of that game plays in the Southern California Regional championship game at 2 p.m. March 17 at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion. After Mt. Carmel, the CIF-San Diego Section Division II champion and No. 6 seed in the Southern California Regional, rallied from a 13-point second-quarter deficit to tied the game at 39-39 in the fourth quarter, Philyaw took charge. She nailed a 3-pointer from deep in the left corner, then came back to hit a running bank shot from the left side, was fouled, and knocked down the free throw to put the Cougars up 45-39. Mt. Carmel outrebounded Norco 50-32 largely because of the play of Cara and Jenna Breite, a pair of 6-footers. Cara finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Jenna had four points and 11 rebounds. But Norco’s defense, which has allowed more than 60 points just once in six postseason games, was again solid. The Cougars forced 27 turnovers, while committing just 11, and held the Sun Devils to 35 percent shooting from the floor (17-of-48). “We just couldn’t convert late when we should have,” said Mt. Carmel coach Robin Blalock, who has led Mt. Carmel to four section championships in the last eight seasons. “They knocked down some key shots and we threw the ball away at critical points.” DIVISION V Mesa Grande 44, Escondido Calvin Christian 42 Carla Bartlett had 20 points and seven assists and Tamara Bowles made a tie-breaking 3-pointer with less than 40 seconds left to lead the Cardinals (23-6) to the win over the San Diego Section champions. After Bowles’ shot, Bartlett came up with a key rebound and was fouled. She made one of two free throws to put the Cardinals up 44-40 with nine seconds left. Calvin Christian made a layup and Mesa Grande was able to kill the time remaining on the clock. Mesa Grande, the third seed, will play at Mission Prep, the second seed, which defeated Rio Hondo Prep 54-33. Megan Williams added eight points and eight rebounds for the Cardinals. BOYS DIVISION IV Ontario Christian 69, Bakersfield Garces 68 Senior forward Justus Jones scored a layup on an assist from junior guard Bobby Nigg with 14 seconds left and the visiting Knights held on in their CIF-State Division IV first-round boys basketball game. “It’s real exciting for us,” Knights coach Scott Brummel said. “The gym was packed. It was one of those games where it was a game of runs. We had the lead at nine in the third quarter, and they came back in the fourth quarter to lead by three and four points.” After Jones’ basket, the six-seeded Knights switched to a man-to-man defense in order to stop Garces’ Stephon Carter, who finished with 42 points, including 15 in the final quarter. Garces, a third seed, drove to the basket and missed. The ball was tipped back toward Carter, but the Knights tied him up as time expired. “I like the fact that we’ve played such good defense,” Brummel said. “We played a 3-2 zone (tonight) and it’s been pretty effective all year. They figured it out and with Carter in the post, they did a good job.” Jones finished with 26 points and 21 rebounds, while Nigg scored 10 points. Ontario Christian (25-5) will play at San Diego Horizon at 7p.m. Saturday. Horizon defeated Desert of Edwards AFB 67-26. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!