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St. Margaret's guard Harper GIdeons looks to drive to the basket during a CIF-Southern Section high school girls basketball tournament game against San Jacinto, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024 at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. Gideons scored a game-high 21 points as St. Margaret's w on 53-31. (Ryan Kuhn, SOCoPrepSports.com)

Basketball

Harper Gideons’ 21 points leads St. Margaret’s girls basketball to blowout win in CIF-SS quarters

Tartans take down San Jacinto for its second straight semifinal appearance 

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — Harper Gideons can tell when she is locked in before a game. 

I usually listen to music,” Gideons said. “Sometimes it will just be movie soundtracks.”

On Wednesday before St. Margaret’s CIF-Southern Section quarterfinal game against San Jacinto her game day playlist included original songs from the TV series Peaky Blinders.

“I had to put myself in the right headspace,” Gideons said. 

Songs made for a TV show about a British gang in the early 1900s apparently worked as she scored a game-high 21 points, including 10 points in the third quarter as the Tartans made quick work of San Jacinto with a 53-31 win at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School. 

“Any win in February is a big win,” coach Josh Markum said. “Our girls responded.”

San Jacinto (22-9)walked into the Pasternack Field House as the biggest team the Tartans have faced. It had three players averaging close to double figures in points and rebounds. 

Markum saiid before tipoff it was their biggest challenge to date but stuck with the game plan.

“We knew we were going to be undersized so we needed to be tougher,” Markum said. 

St. Margaret’s’ speed and toughness was the difference, neutralizing the Tigers full court press. Lila Wohglemuth hit a 3-pointer midway through the first quarter to take the first lead of the game. 

With San Jacinto’s size playing a factor, Markum decided to put in freshman Tilda Curran to give them more height inside. 

Curran scored two baskets inside, followed by two more by Gideons. A once slim Tartan lead turned into a 28-14 halftime advantage when Gideons hit her first 3-pointer with seconds before the end of the half. 

“I was confident in myself and I felt like I was the best player on the floor,” Gideons said.  “Even if you aren’t (the best player) you have to feel that.”