Perhaps the key shot came on Norco’s next possession. Ayala defended well, but Philyaw sank a 3-pointer from the wing just before the shot clock sounded, giving Norco a 52-47 lead with 1:57 to play. The Cougars lived at the free-throw line the rest of the game, making 6 of 10, which was enough to put the game out of reach. Ayala struggled from the field, going just 3 of 15 in the third quarter and 3 of 14 in the fourth. Junior standout Rebekah Gardner, who has orally committed to UCLA, had 19 points, but 12 of those came in the first half. She had a rather quiet second half, plagued by foul trouble. “She is a great player, so every team comes in thinking the key is stopping her,” Norco coach Rick Thompson said. “Cierra (Windham) did a great job denying her the ball. She can match up with her in size and she has long arms, so that was big. Getting her in foul trouble was the key because she had to play a little more carefully.” Only four players figured in the scoring for Norco. Brittani Philbrook scored 16 points, Howard had 12 and Philyaw scored eight. [email protected] (818) 909-386-3866 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “Our goal was to win a CIF title, and we didn’t do that,” said Norco’s Cierra Windham, who led all scorers with 22 points. “We looked at this as our second chance. We really wanted it.” A pivotal third quarter made the difference. The Bulldogs (30-4) led 18-11 after the first quarter and 29-21 at the half. But Norco opened the third quarter with a 15-4 run, highlighted by a 3-pointer by Kasey Philyaw that gave the Cougars a 36-33 lead. They led 40-37 heading into the final quarter. Ayala’s last lead came at 47-45 midway through the fourth, but Norco drew even on a pair of free throws by Windham with 3:02 left. Then, after a Bulldogs turnover, Windham scored on a putback, making it 49-47. CHINO HILLS – Something had to give. The Ayala High School girls basketball team entered Saturday’s second round of the Division II CIF-State playoffs riding a 19-game winning streak. Its opponent, Norco, had won an equally impressive 26 of its past 27. But it was the Cougars (29-3) who surged past the host Bulldogs, 58-51. Norco used its 60-55 loss to A.B. Miller in the CIF-Southern Section championship game as incentive.