BASKETBALL PLAYOFFS: Immanuel girls erupt late, cruise in SoCal regionals opener

Leading by just 7 at half, Eagles outscore visiting Rosamond 40-8 the rest of the way for dominating 62-23 victory

Immanuel High’s Jenna Goertzenn fires in a 3-point basket during the second half of the Eagles’ 62-23 rout of Rosamond High in a CIF Southern California Division V first round game on Feb. 27. The freshman guard finished with 14 points. (Kirk Kawagoe)
Immanuel High’s Jenna Goertzenn fires in a 3-point basket during the second half of the Eagles’ 62-23 rout of Rosamond High in a CIF Southern California Division V first round game on Feb. 27. The freshman guard finished with 14 points. (Kirk Kawagoe)
Jon Earnest
Published February 28, 2024  • 
11:00 am

REEDLEY – The Immanuel High Eagles girls kicked it into high gear in the second half of their Southern California Division V regional first round girls basketball game on Tuesday night.

After having a seven-point halftime lead cut to five in the third quarter, the fourth-seeded Division IV Central Section champions scored 37 of the game’s final 40 points (a 40-8 run in the second half) to overpower the No. 13 Rosamond High Roadrunners at Immanuel High South Gym. The Eagles (25-9) advance to a 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 29 home quarterfinal against No. 5 Sage Creek of Carlsbad (20-10).

Head coach Loren LeBeau called it a “nice team win” for his Immanuel squad.

“We have a bunch of soldiers in that locker room,” he said. “Our mission is to play hard, play smart and play together. We are getting better at those little things every day.”

Visiting Rosamond (24-8) stayed close for a half, getting seven points from Ariel Cain and six points from Abigail Cardoza to trail 22-15. But the Eagles found their offensive rhythm in the third quarter, getting five points from freshman Jenna Goertzen (who finished with 14 points) and scoring from five other players to build the lead to 39-21 heading to the final eight minutes.

Immanuel then blew it wide open in the fourth, closing the game out with a 23-2 run. Sophomore guard-forward Nana Moreno scored nine of her game-high 15 points while freshman guard Ainsley Jackson (14 points) added seven in the quarter. Macie Riddle dished out three of the team’s six assists in the quarter.

Elizabeth Davila and Clara Riddle each scored six points for the Eagles, Sid Azua scored three points while Jade Laemmlen and Aval Schletewitz each added two points. Cain and Cardoza each scored nine points while Nadiyah Baladez added five points to account for the Rosamond scoring for the night.

Sage Creek advanced with a 60-44 victory over No. 12 Escondido High on Feb. 27. The winner on Thursday likely would advance to play top-seeded Montgomery High (22-11). The Aztecs from San Diego pounded No. 16 seed Temecula Prep, 88-27, on Tuesday.

Jon Earnest
Reporter