Rita Fiorenza Is Ms. Automatic For SPHS Girls Basketball

Ever heard of 'pocket change' before? 

You know, the money that you didn't have stashed in your wallet but accidentally left in the pocket of your pants?

Then again, that's exactly the type of phrase you may have to categorize with San Pedro High girls basketball sophomore sensation Rita Fiorenza.

2012 was a metaphoric rise for the once-struggling program thanks to the amazing scoring ability of Fiorenza.

It wasn't the best of seasons for the Lady Pirates in 2010-2011, as they had a disasterous 1-20 overall record, but in came Fiorenza, and the stock rose up a few notches.

The 2011-2012 season was perhaps the best for a debut player in the history of the program, as Fiorenza became a freshman standout right away in her first game, and stepped it up a notch in the Downey Calvary Chapel Tournament in pacing the Pirates to a runner-up finish, averaging 14.5 points a game.

However, Fiorenza became an instant hit in her first career home game against Elizabeth Learning Center.

With eight seconds remaining, she took an inbound pass that she partly bobbled before controlling, and made her move to the basket, she somehow eluded a Bulldog defender with a clever ball fake and as she made her attempt to score she clutched the ball to avoid another defender trying to avoid fouling her. It was all 'pocket money' for Fiorenza from there, as she calmly banked in the layup as time expired to force overtime.

Despite the 52-48 overtime setback, Fiorenza would score 18 points and added six steals in that virtuoso performance for the Lady Pirates.

Fiorenza's best effort came against Long Beach Jordan in the Gahr Tournament consolation championship.

She was on fire, hitting 8-of-9 from the field and 12-of-13 free-throws for a career-high 28 points to go along with 6 rebounds and 3 assists to power the Pirates to a 42-39 victory, and Fiorenza was named to the all-tournament team before helping San Pedro post two program-fulfilling Marine League upset wins over both Washington Prep of Los Angeles and Gardena, and reach the CIF-Los Angeles City Section Division I playoffs.

For her efforts, Fiorenza was named to the All-Marine League first team.

Another great student in the classroom, Fiorenza also runs on the track and field team at San Pedro High.

In her first game this season already, Rita would go bonkers against University of Los Angeles by scoring 26 points right out of the gate while hitting 10-of-17 shots from the field, and all six of her free throws despite San Pedro's 57-37 loss to the Wildcats. Don't expect a 'sophomore slump' out of Fiorenza for the 2012-2013 season.

Smooth jumper, and an incredible floor general, along with being a superb on-ball defender. 

Pocket change? You bet when you got a scoring threat like Rita Fiorenza on your side.

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