Brea Olinda team celebrate after defeating Troy on a CIF-SS Division I Regionals semifinals game at Troy on Tuesday.

Richardson leads Brea past Troy, into final


FULLERTON – Brea Olinda girls basketball coach Jeff Sink has one of his younger teams in recent memory.

There is only one senior on the roster, but that doesn’t matter when the one senior is Arizona State signee Reili Richardson.

Richardson scored 21 points to go with nine rebounds in leading the Ladycats to victory at second-seeded Troy, 52-45, Tuesday in the semifinals of the CIF Division I Southern California Regional.

“Reili refuses to lose,” Sink said of the star point guard. “The big thing is that she will take over. If you don’t have a finisher, you can’t win big games like this. She was tremendous.”

Tyiona Watkins added 10 points and seven rebounds for the sixth-seeded Ladycats (27-4). Krislyn Marsh had eight points with nine rebounds, and Iyree Jarrett had five points and four steals.

Richardson scored seven of her game-high 21 points in the fourth quarter. Her up-tempo style of play helped her get to the hoop, setting up her teammates with layup and free-throw opportunities.

“We’re just a fourth-quarter team,” Richardson said. “We started off slow early, and I thought that if I could push the ball and put pressure on their defense, that would pump our team up.”

The teams were virtually inseparable for most of the game. The biggest lead by either team was five points heading to the fourth quarter. The final period began with the teams tied, 40-40.

Kianna Smith led Troy (26-7) with 12 points. Naomi Hunt had 11 points, and Rebecca Lazuka added eight.

Brea’s road back to Sacramento for a second straight state final goes through Vista Murrieta, which beat Oaks Christian of Westlake Village, 62-49, Tuesday. Brea faces the Broncos (30-4) in the regional championship game at Long Beach State on Saturday at 2 p.m.

Marsh, a sophomore, knows her team is close.

“I’m so hungry,” she said. “I want that state title.”

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