ST. MONICA — Following a 84-67 home California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section Division 5AA playoff defeat to Workman School from the City of Industry Thursday night, the St. Monica girls’ basketball season has come to an end.

In her final game in a St. Monica uniform, the school’s all-time leading scorer Cory LaGuardia led the way for the Mariners with a 26-point, 10-rebound performance.

Workman had eight three-pointers in the first quarter alone to push the lead to 28-8 and never looked back. LaGuardia’s scoring kept the Mariners afloat but the sharp-shooting Workman Lobos simply dominated from the tip-off, running an up-tempo offense that resulted in lay-ups or free throws. The Mariners’ frustration was evident in the second quarter and at times, only freshman Katrina Balatico’s steady play kept them in the game.

The Lobos were a tough-nosed team that St. Monica coach John Skinner compared to a “buzz saw” — no pun intended because, he added, it was a “tough night.” Workman was “definitely better than the CIF thought they should have been seeded … We knew early on they could flat out shoot.”

St. Monica rallied in the fourth behind its spirited fans, who chanted “Mariners! Mariners! Mariners!” but their cheers couldn’t bring their team back. Balatico scored 13 points in the losing effort and her ball-handling and composure saved the Mariners from what looked like would be a complete blow-out. The freshman impressed Skinner, who himself just completed his first year as head coach.

“We lose a lot of talent and experience but our young players have great attitudes and we will not have a problem with getting them to work hard,” Skinner said. “As coaches we are excited to see how much we can get these kids to improve and enjoy the team game. The pace that Workman played at last night provided a strong example of the pace of play we want to play at in a few seasons.”

Echoing her coach, a visibly disappointed Balatico added “we knew we could have done better in the first half.”

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