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PAUL RODRIGUEZ, , PAUL RODRIGUEZ, FILE PHOTO
Troy guard Barbara Sitanggan will be in for a tough battle Wednesday when the Warriors take on top-seeded Long Beach Poly in the Open Division quarterfinals.

Troy confident backcourt can handle LB Poly pressure

STAFF WRITER

It was after a game in early January that Troy coach Roger Anderson remarked that he would throw his backcourt of Kianna Smith and Barbara Sitanggan up against any tandem in the state.

After Smith and Sitanggan scored a combined 35 points against Alemany of Mission Hills Saturday in the opening round of the Open Divison, Troy (21-5) will be host to top-seeded Long Beach Poly (23-3) in the quarterfinals on Wednesday night.

Long Beach Poly has a platoon of skilled guards, so the Warriors are likely to face their toughest test to date.

“There’s that mystique where it’s always, ‘Oh, you’re playing Mater Dei, Brea or Poly,’” Anderson explained. “If you go in with that mentality, you’re already two-thirds of the way beat. But we’ve seen Poly in summer leagues and in the fall, so we know you’ve got to be able to beat their press.”

The Jackrabbits have an 18-game winning streak after beating Fairmont Prep, 61-13, Saturday night.

Anderson estimated Long Beach Poly will use as many as eight guards in a game, utilizing its athleticism to create a chaotic tempo that plays into its preferred style of play.

The Jackrabbits are averaging 25 steals per game and have recorded 40-plus swipes four times this season.

“Our girls aren’t in that ‘awe’ category,” Anderson said. “I schedule stiff away games so we’re prepared and road-tested. We’re used to this kind of game by now. Playing at home is a bonus.”

Anderson said he is more than ready to roll with his playmaking guards.

“I still think I’ve got the best backcourt around,” Anderson said. “Somebody’s going to have to show me something to think otherwise.”

SATURDAY TRAFFIC

For Corona del Mar, playing at home Wednesday night against Ocean View is exactly what the team needs after its adventure Saturday.

The Sea Kings had the farthest road game of any Orange County team Saturday, having to travel 250 miles for their second-round matchup against Paso Robles.

CdM scheduled a brief stop at San Marcos High in Santa Barbara for a pregame shootaround and walkthrough. But traffic prevented the Sea Kings from reaching San Marcos in time to use the school’s gym, so Coach Mark Decker switched to plan B.

“We found a blacktop court at an elementary school and held our shootaround there,” Decker explained.

The Sea Kings, who arrived in Paso Robles six hours after leaving the CdM campus, overcame a sluggish start to the game to win, 47-42.

Now the Sea Kings get a well-earned home game against Ocean View on Wednesday in the Division 3A quarterfinals.

ALIVE AND THRIVING

Four of the eight teams still alive in Division 3AA are county teams.

Orange Lutheran, Sonora, Esperanza and Yorba Linda won a combined eight games last week by an average margin of 30.5 points.

Esperanza will host second-seeded Patriot of Riverside on Wednesday night, while No. 3 seed Sonora is home against South Hills of West Covina, and Yorba Linda is at home against No. 4 seed Lakeside of Lake Elsinore. Top-seeded Orange Lutheran will play at South Torrance.

Contact the writer: sfryer@ocregister.com


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