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Right Cory LaGuardia from the St. Monica's girls Varsity basketball team takes a jump shot over the head of Andrea Irabagon of the St. Joseph's Girls Varsity basketball inside the St. Monica's Gym located on the campus of St. Monica's on Janurary 27, 2010 as St. Monica's hosted St. Joes in an Camino Real league game and won 57-49

ST. MONICA — St. Monica’s girls’ basketball program has a new scoring champ.

Senior guard Cory LaGuardia eclipsed Alex Pagnato’s mark of 1,158 points during a game against Camino Real League rival St. Joseph on Jan. 27, but team officials didn’t confirm the feat until last week after a review of the team’s historical records.

“I’m very excited to set the record,” LaGuardia said. “It’s such an honor.”

The senior sits at over 1,200 points for her career with that total sure to grow before the season ends this week.

The scoring title is just the latest in a long list of accomplishments for the sharp-shooting guard. In her four years on varsity, LaGuardia has twice been named to the all-league team with a third likely this season. LaGuardia also starred on the school’s volleyball team, earning all-league honors in 2009.

Aside from her athletic prowess, LaGuardia is the current student body president, sporting a 4.3 grade point average. As if that isn’t enough, she was also St. Monica’s homecoming queen this year.

“She’s a great athlete, but she is an even better person,” Head Coach John Skinner said. “She’s just an all-around leader.”

For LaGuardia, being a part of school activities comes naturally.

“I’ve always been involved in student government,” she said. “I wanted to make a difference at my school. I knew that I wanted to make it a great experience.”

That experience will continue tonight as the Mariners fight to qualify for the playoffs. St. Monica (11-14 overall, 4-2 in league) enters the home game against first place Cantwell-Sacred Heart currently in second place. With a victory, the Mariners would be virtually assured a playoff berth.

St. Monica’s hold on second place comes after a slow start to the season as LaGuardia recovered from an injury sustained during the volleyball season. After missing the first four games of the season, LaGuardia rejoined a team working to incorporate the new coaching staff’s approach to the game.

The Mariners struggled through the non-league portion of the schedule before turning it up during league play. Skinner attributes that success to time spent together and the return of LaGuardia, who is the team’s leader on offense.

“We didn’t have much of a summer together,” said first-year coach Skinner. “I knew we were going to be a work-in-progress. But, through that, [the team] bought into our team mantra, which is to always compete.

“I think they started to see what we wanted to accomplish.”

For LaGuardia, she believes that a deep run into the playoffs can become a reality if the Mariners continue to mesh at the right time.

“We just need to keep up what we’re doing and keep playing as a team,” she said. “We just have to leave it all on the court. This is our last shot, we might as well do all that we can.”

daniela@smdp.com

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