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The Fountain Valley women’s basketball team once again rode the Tengan twins late in the game.
Rosaire followed coach Richard Yoon’s adjustments and Kaylee Byon’s clutch play.
The Barons and Royals kicked off the final week of the regular season about 23 miles apart on Monday, but ended united with thrilling wins in front of their home crowd.
Fountain Valley, ranked No. 21 in Orange County, went from a 10-point deficit to a No. 19 Corona del Mar 48-46 advantage on a 3-point go-ahead from Margaret Tengan with nine seconds left to do in the showdown for first place in the Surf League.
Second-seeded Rosary beat No. 1 Mater Dei 51-40 to clinch at least a share of the Trinity League title and a likely place in the CIF-SS Open Division qualifiers.
Tengan’s shot from 3 feet behind the 3-point line only touched the net to give Fountain Valley (17-5, 4-0) a 47-46 lead. The senior’s winning move came four days after her twin sister Audrey Tengan netted a game-winning 3-pointer in double overtime against Los Alamitos on January 27.
“We love a good comeback,” Margaret Tengan said with a laugh Monday night. “It was definitely a little nerve-wracking, but once the game starts it all goes away for me.”
Margaret Tengan, who finished with 21 points, got an assist from her sister, who scored 10 of her 20 points in the fourth quarter.
“I had no doubt it was going to go in,” Audrey said of her sister’s match winner from the top of the arc.
Fountain Valley forced a turnover on Corona del Mar’s inbound play, leading a free throw from Audrey for a 48-46 lead. A 3-point attempt by the Sea Kings bounced off the ledge as time expired.
Corona del Mar (13-10, 3-1) led by as much as 10 points in the first half and recovered after Fountain Valley took its first lead late in the third quarter.
Leading back Haley Esquino (17 points) narrowly beat the shot clock for the second time in the game with a 3-point shot to give the Sea Kings a 34-32 lead with 5:31 left in the fourth.
But Fountain Valley would not be denied.
“They just don’t give up,” Barons coach Marianne Karp said of his side, who play Corona del Mar on Friday in the league final. “(The twins) have been like this since they were freshmen on this team. It’s unbelievable.”
Yoon worked his own magic on Monday. The Royals (14-7, 7-1), known for playing pressure, a masculine defense, moved to a 1-1-3 zone and limited the Monarchs (19-4, 6-1) to their smallest number of points for the season.
“We never play zone but,” Yoon said, “if it works, I’ll make it work.”
“Our children have grown up,” he added.
Mater Dei beat Rosary 80-65 in the first round of league games but saw their tally halved on Monday. Yoon said the Royals “locked in” to their area and forced the Monarchs to beat them from the perimeter.
Utah Valley-bound Byon had 23 points and five assists to lead the Royals to their second Trinity League title in three seasons.
In 2020, Rosary ended Mater Dei’s 90-game winning streak in the Trinity League, a streak that dated back to 2007-08, coach Kevin Kiernan’s first season at Mater Dei.
Rosary rookie Mya Barnes had 12 points and seven rebounds while Ava Dominguez added eight points and eight rebounds.
Lani White and Caia Elisaldez each had 12 points for the Monarchs, who can earn a share of the title by beating JSerra on Wednesday.
Corona del Mar center Makena Tomlinson had 15 points and 14 rebounds. …
The Tengan sisters, both 5-foot-6 goaltenders, said they have no plans to play in college. “This is it,” said Margaret, whose team is ranked 14th in the 3AA Division.
Playoff pairings are scheduled to be released Tuesday, Feb. 8 at noon. The wildcard round begins on February 10, with first-round matches following on February 12. Teams must be .500 to be considered for overall spots.
JSerra and Aliso Niguel are two notable teams under .500. JSerra (10-12) is seeded seventh in Orange County and fifth in Division 2AA, but will not earn an automatic qualifying bid from the Trinity League. Division 1 Aliso Niguel (10-18) has several quality wins with a tough schedule but finished fourth in the South Coast League.
Aliso Niguel junior forward Shanna Brown had 31 points, 21 rebounds and four steals in a 75-71 win over No. 18 Tesoro on Monday.