Suddenly, the psychological advantage Santa Margarita High girls basketball team had over Millikan for nearly three quarters disappeared. The Eagles’ big front line of three 6-foot-plus players didn’t seem so intimidating to the Rams, as the visitors from Long Beach cut an 18-point lead to five on Danielle Leigh’s 3-pointer with less than 15 seconds left. But Millikan couldn’t get any closer as it lost 61-56 in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division I-AA playoffs and ended its season with a 13-13 record. “We knew we could out-pressure them and out-run them,” Millikan coach Lorene Morgan said. “That was the plan. (My girls) finally executed it, but it was a little too late.” With the Rams down five, the clock oddly kept running while the Eagles tried to inbound the ball, and finally with 1 second left, the referees stopped the clock. Santa Margarita threw a pass over the Rams defense to a streaking player to end the contest. Kalena Tutt, 6-foot-2 forward started alongside Samantha Marez (11 points, 10 boards) to match up against 6-2 Whitney Woods (23 points), 6-3 Georgia Mollmer and 6-foot Lauren Osyka (12 points), Melissa Zornig (16 points). Tutt, who had 12 rebounds, scored eight of her 15 points during the Rams’ 13-2 run in the fourth quarter to cut Santa Margarita’s to 11 points with under 4 minutes remaining. She added another two points during Millikan’s final 14-10 push. “Coach Morgan wanted me to come out and be the leader that I am supposed to be,” Tutt said. “In the beginning, I didn’t. We always start out slow. I looked up at the score, and I said to myself, ‘Man! We can’t lose to this team. … I had to give my team a little pep talk. You have to look into the post. And they finally listened.” Bishop Montgomery 55, Jordan 45A poor shooting performance in the third quarter by the Panthers (15-12) and the hot shooting by Brittney Brewer of Bishop Montgomery negated Jordan’s strong play in the first half. The visitors scored only three points in the third quarter, two of them by freshman Danesha Long who finished with 18 points, as Jordan lost in the first round of the CIF-SS Division I-AA playoffs. Gianna Woods scored six of her 15 points in the fourth quarter as the Panthers cut a 17-point lead to 10. “We need to take care of the ball,” Jordan coach Adara Newidouski said. “Our lack of execution during certain parts of the game – it hurts us. Turnovers, missed box outs, free throw percentage – nine for 21 is nothing to be proud about. It has hurt us all season. We have to mature.” Jordan was up 14-10 after the first quarter, but in the closing minuets of the second quarter, Brewer hit two back-breaking 3-pointers during a 11-2 run that put Bishop Montgomery up 43-27 at intermission. Earl Williams can be reached at [email protected] or (562) 499-1338. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!