GAME INTRO: Providence Hall (18-6) and Orangewood Academy (24-5) meet tonight for the CIF Division 6 title at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana.
The Lions, from Santa Barbara, reached the championship game in only their second year of sanctioned CIF competition.
The Spartans, from nearby Garden Grove, have won 17 games in a row entering tonight’s championship.
The final two teams alive in the division were the top two seeds entering the posteseason, with Orangewood holding the top seed.
GAME OVER: Orangewood Academy successfully holds off Providence Hall 34-31 to win the Division 6 title. Jareni Nunez knocked down two free throws with 2.3 seconds remaining to seal the game. Game story to come later.
2:22 LEFT ON CLOCK: Providence Hall refused to give in to Orangewood’s push to begin the quarter. After falling behind 28-21, the Lions have fought back to 31-28 and have possession.
6:43 REMAINING IN GAME: Orangewood has opened up the largest lead of the game for either team at 28-21. Stephanie Olvera knocked down a 3-pointer to start the quarter that has the momentum on the Spartans’ side.
END OF THIRD QUARTER: The hot shooting of Orangewood’s Jannet Olvera has the Spartans back out in front. The Spartans went on a 6-0 run to take back the lead going into the final quarter. Orangewood Academy 24, Providence Hall 21.
START OF THIRD QUARTER: Sydney Hedges has scored the first four points of the second half as Providence Hall takes a 21-18 lead. Both baskets for Hedges came on second-chance opportunities.
HALFTIME: Orangewood takes an slight 18-17 edge into halftime. Raquel Spencer has come alive to pace the Spartans, scoring nine of the Spartans’ final 12 points in the half. Olivia Johnson leads Providence Hall with five points.
END OF FIRST QUARTER: Raquel Spencer’s first two baskets of the game tie the game at 10-10 after one quarter. Providence Hall used an 8-0 run to take a 10-6 advantage before the Spartans evened it up.
3:00 MINUTES REMAINING IN FIRST QUARTER: Orangewood jumped out to a 6-2 lead behind a boisterous crowd but Providence Hall settled down and has taken an 8-6 lead. Olivia Johnson has scored four of Providence Hall’s first eight points.
TIP-OFF: Orangewood Academy has a large – at least three times larger than Providence Hall – supporting section here at Mater Dei. Most of them are decked out in black. The Lions’ crowd is not as color-coordinated, but have shown their devotion by traveling two hours from Santa Barbara.