The Notre Dame High and Alisal High girls basketball teams have played two close contests this season, but both games were nondivisional contests.
If the stars align, they could see each other next season as divisional opponents battling it out for a lot more than just bragging rights.
Notre Dame never trailed in overtime in defeating Alisal 46-42 in the teams’ final contest before MBL divisional play begins next week.
The win was Notre Dame’s second in a row as it improved to 6-6 on the season. It’s the third time this season Notre Dame has been at .500 but it has yet to climb above that mark.
Alisal’s defense held off Notre Dame long enough to rally back late in the fourth quarter, as two free throws by Natalia Castro with one minute to go in the fourth quarter tied the game at 34-34.
Both teams had golden looks at a game-winning basket in the final 60 seconds, but nothing sank through, including the front end of a Notre Dame one-and-one with 54 seconds remaining.
It took a little bit for both teams to get going in overtime. In the opening minute of overtime, Sarah Muzik was fouled and made the first of two free throws. She missed the second attempt, but center Kyleigh White was there to grab the ball and put the ball in for the offbeat two-players-for-three-points play, giving Notre Dame a 37-34 lead.
Alisal came right back calmly, as Mayra Marquez hit a three from the wing with a couple of seconds remaining on the shot clock to tie the game at 37-37 with three minutes to go.
From there, both teams played stifling defense, not allowing the other to get a good look.
Alisal’s defense upped the pressure with 2:30 to go, putting Notre Dame into a vice as Notre Dame couldn’t get a good look at the basket. The Spirits passed the ball around with only a couple of seconds left on the shot clock, and the ball eventually ended up in Aly Gomonet’s hands in the corner. She heaved a shot as the shot clock buzzer went off, and the ball rattled in for a three-pointer, giving Notre Dame a 40-37 lead.
The Notre Dame faithful roared, and the Alisal faithful sighed at the buzzer-beating result.
But Alisal cut into Notre Dame’s lead, as Rocio Becerra put back a miss to close the gap to 40-39 with 1:25 to go in the game.
Alisal went with the full-court press, and Notre Dame broke through, as Marisa Given found White inside for two, boosting Notre Dame’s lead back to 42-39 with a minute to go.
From there, Notre Dame sealed the deal at the free-throw line.
Muzik finished with 16 points, Gomonet had 11 points, Given had seven points, and White tallied six points.
Eight different Alisal players scored. Marquez tallied nine points, Marian Ongy had eight points, and Becerra and Castro each had six points.
Notre Dame will get a chance to go over .500 on Thursday at home against North Salinas as it begins MBL Gabilan Division play.
Alisal dropped to 5-6 on the season, as it lost for the second consecutive time. The Trojans have played three different teams twice this season, going 1-1 each time. The Trojans can get back to .500 on Tuesday at home against Monterey as they begin MBL Pacific Division play.