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Troy girls win again, charge into regionals
FULLERTON – There was no championship hardware on this particular night, but Troy’s girls basketball team put the finishing touches on a resume that should put the Warriors in prime position to play for just that in a few weeks time.
The Warriors rode junior Naomi Hunt’s hot hand in building an early, double-digit lead that it maintained for much of their 58-49 win over Alemany of Mission Hills in the CIF-SS Open Division consolation final Thursday night at Troy High.
Hunt made her first four shots from beyond the arc and finished with a game-high 20 points for the Warriors (24-6), who in the past 13 days compiled a 4-1 record in the Open Division, twice beating Alemany in addition to beating over Oaks Christian and Vista Murrieta.
Troy’s lone setback in the past two weeks was a 56-52 loss against top-seeded Long Beach Poly, which will be playing in this weekend’s Open Division championship game against Chaminade.
With regional playoff brackets being released Sunday, Warriors coach Roger Anderson wasn’t shy about expressing where he thinks his club should be seeded in the upcoming Division 1 bracket.
“I think we should be the one (a seed) with all of the state-ranked teams we’ve had to play in the last week and a half,” he said. “We played five games and everybody was nationally or state ranked at the time, and we lost by four to Long Beach Poly. I think we deserve to be the one, but we’ll see how everything plays out.”
By winning the Open Division’s consolation bracket, it appears Troy will be seeded no lower than No. 2 in regionals. Regardless of where they’re bracketed or who they’ll have to play, the Warriors are playing their best basketball to date, and will be a threat in the state tournament.
Kianna Smith scored 16 points on Thursday night. Barbara Sitanggan added 11, and the backcourt duo played relentless defense, holding Alemany (23-10) to 12 points or less in each of the first three quarters.
“The bad thing is we haven’t been healthy,” Anderson added. “We’re finally healthy and we’re peaking at the right time. Now it’s just a matter of where do we go, what do we need to do, and let the chips fall where they may. The girls are playing their hearts out.”
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