Krislyn Marsh, right, of Brea Olinda takes a shot over the defense of Shayla Cohen, left, of Canyon during a Crestview League game at Canyon on Friday.

Brea Olinda works for win over Canyon


ANAHEIM – It wasn’t the level of play Brea Olinda’s girls basketball team is accustomed to, but it couldn’t just be chalked up to an off night.

Playing against a Canyon team that’s on the rise, the second-ranked Ladycats needed a 12-0 run midway through the second quarter to keep the feisty Comanches at arm’s length for a 52-44 victory in a Crestview League game Friday at Canyon High.

“That’s why basketball is the greatest sport,” Brea coach Jeff Sink explained. “You’ve got to play 5-on-5, and on any given night, if you play poorly and the other team shoots well, it can be a close game.

“Doesn’t matter who you play.”

Canyon (15-4, 0-2) opened the game by hitting five of its first six shots from the field. The Comanches held the lead for much of the first quarter, and only trailed by a field goal midway into the second.

Using their athleticism, Tyiona Watkins and Reili Richardson attacked the basket and scored 10 points on Brea’s 12-0 run that gave the Ladycats some breathing room, 27-15, at halftime.

Watkins finished with 14 points and Richardson scored 10 of her 16 points after the intermission, helping Brea (16-2, 2-0) build a 20-point lead in the third quarter.

“It’s funny, because you want to look and say it was a great effort, but you never show up not to win,” Comanches coach Mark Lofink said. “We’re here to win the game. The girls are disappointed. Yeah, we’re proud of the way they played. But like we told them, forget the rankings and go compete.”

Senior forward Shayla Cohen scored eight of her team-high 10 points in the fourth, cutting Brea’s lead to 10 with three minutes left.

While the final result was their second consecutive loss, it did signal tremendous strides for the Comanches, who last season fell to the Ladycats by 24 and 29 points, respectively.

“The coaching staff has done a great job with them,” Sink said of Canyon. “They work real hard and hit shots. I was truly impressed with their ability to play 32 minutes of basketball. They’re clearly the most improved team I’ve seen in the O.C.”

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