Brea Olinda extends streak to 13 games
BREA – No. 3 Brea Olinda entered its Century League girls basketball game against Canyon riding the same winning streak it had carried into the teams’ first meeting this season.
The Ladycats defeated the Comanches by 19 points in the first game between the schools on Jan. 5, and they were not about to let the streak end on their home court Tuesday night.
Senior Tori Bryant scored 18 points, and Brea Olinda beat Canyon, 52-45, for the Wildcats' 13th consecutive victory.
“We really wanted to pound the ball inside,” Ladycats coach Kim Cram-Torres said of her team’s effort to get Bryant, the team's 6-foot center, involved in the offense. “She had good rhythm and we wanted to take advantage of that.”
While Bryant crashed the offensive glass early and often, Lindsay Uyematsu kept the Comanches (14-8, 4-4) in the game with her hot shooting. The senior guard had a game-high 19 points, knocking down three first-half 3-pointers and finishing with five for the game.
Arin Perry and Anna Kim helped the Ladycats force 20 turnovers by Canyon. During one third-quarter sequence, the two guards pushed the ball in transition and a three-point lead expanded to nine in the span of a minute.
Brea (15-3, 7-0) expanded its lead to 48-33 with 1:04 left in the fourth quarter, but the Comanches continued to fight down the stretch.
Michele Ballestero, who had received a technical foul earlier, drew a technical on Perry. Canyon used the heated exchange as a catalyst to make one last run, rattling off 10 consecutive points in a matter of 42 seconds to cut the deficit to five.
“There’s nothing in the rule book that says you can’t be a (nuisance),” said Canyon coach Matt Dale. “I give Michele full credit for being an agitator.”
With 21 seconds left, Kim stepped up to the line and hit both ends of a 1-and-1, effectively securing the game for the Ladycats.
Brea Olinda, which plays Esperanza on Friday before taking on No. 2 Troy on Saturday, hasn't lost since falling to Windward of L.A., 63-33, on Dec. 15. Windward is ranked No. 2 in the state, behind Mater Dei, by CalHiSports.com.