After El Modena’s Samantha Meggison hit a layup with 38 seconds left to cut the Vanguards’ deficit to 49-46, the Lancers responded by scoring the last six points of the game on free throws, including four by senior guard Amanda Alvarez, to end the upset bid. “We made the plays when we had to make them,” Wiard said. The Vanguards (15-11) stayed within striking distance throughout a first half riddled by fouls and rushed shots by both sides. The Lancers were visibly frustrated and unable to execute their offense, and last year’s Tribune Player of the Year, Candice Brown, went scoreless in the first half and was plagued by early foul trouble. With the Lancers holding a 21-15 lead entering the second half, Brown finally came up with two early baskets but picked up her fourth foul with just 5:34 left in the third quarter. The Vanguards then went on a 10-2 run to take their first lead, 28-27, since the opening shot. But Alvarez came to the rescue with two big 3-pointers in the closing minutes of the quarter to put the Lancers back out in front 34-31 heading into the final period. Alvarez finished with 13 points. The Lancers then opened up their biggest lead of the game, 47-35, midway through the fourth thanks in part to two of Morgann Ellis’ three 3-pointers. Meggison carried El Modena on her shoulders to keep the game close late, scoring all but two of the Vanguards’ 15 points in the fourth quarter. She finished with a game-high 21 points and 10 rebounds, and sophomore forward Lauren Gross had nine points and 14 rebounds. “I don’t think we played particularly well, but I think [El Modena] had an awful lot to do with that,” Wiard said. “They’re a good team. Meggison and Gross are good players.” Junior guard Kristen McCarthy led Amat with 15 points and Ashleigh Adams had 10. The Lancers (22-4) will play Royal, a 54-48 winner over Orange Lutheran, in the second round on Wednesday. [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2239 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! • Photo Gallery: Bishop Amat vs. El Moderna LA PUENTE — The game may not have played out the way it was supposed to, but the defending state champion Bishop Amat High School girls basketball team is still headed to the second round of the CIF-Southern Section playoffs. After a nine-day layoff, the Lancers looked impatient and frustrated early but stayed focused enough to hold on for a 55-46 victory over El Modena in their Division I-AA first-round game on Saturday. “We never got into a rhythm and we weren’t patient enough to run our stuff,” Bishop Amat coach Richard Wiard said. “I don’t know whether it was because our girls were a little excited because it’s the playoffs, or we hadn’t played in like nine days. It’s tough at this point in the season to take nine days off.”
"Lancers advance with sluggish win"