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CHAS METIVIER, FOR THE REGISTER
JSerra' s August Touchard, left, will try to help her team make a deep run in the CIF-SS girls basketball playoffs.

JSerra hopes brutal schedule pays off

OCVARSITY.COM

JSerra's girls basketball team played one of the toughest schedules in the county in an effort to prepare for the CIF-SS playoffs.

The Lions went 20-6 overall, finished second in the Trinity League and had impressive victories on the road over St. Bernard of Playa del Rey and La Jolla Country Day. They performed admirably in losses to Bishop Montgomery of Torrance and Santiago of Corona.

JSerra had a lead on top-ranked Mater Dei heading into the fourth quarter before the Monarchs pulled out the victory. The Lions went toe-to-toe with Windward of L.A. before the Wildcats rallied in the fourth quarter to pull out the victory.

Mater Dei and Windward are ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in the state by Cal-Hi Sports, so the Lions are right there with the top teams.

Windward happens to be the top seed in Division 4AA, where the Lions are seeded No. 2.

"We won big games this year, and finishing No. 2 in the Trinity League is big," JSerra coach Mary Rossignol said. "The schedule has prepared us for the big dance. We have played the best. The program has come a long way."

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All CIF-SS girls basketball playoff brackets

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NOTES

Troy has a nine-game winning streak and might be the hottest team heading into the playoffs. The Warriors knocked off Brea Olinda and Long Beach Poly during their streak which helped them grab the No. 2 seed in Division 1AA.

Troy likely will have to go through a series of tough rematches if it hopes to win its first CIF-SS title since 2006. Seventh-seeded Rancho Verde of Moreno Valley and third-seeded Santiago of Corona are on Troy's half of the bracket, and top-seeded Mater Dei likely would be awaiting the Warriors if they made it to the final.

Troy beat Rancho Verde, 49-43, on Dec. 1 and lost to Mater Dei, 61-25, on Dec. 7 and Santiago, 65-57, on Jan. 12.

"We are looking forward to a possible rematch with Santiago first," Troy coach Roger Anderson said. "And we have to get by Rancho Verde before that, which will be tough because we already beat them in a close game. So we are excited for the playoffs, but we realize you can't look past anybody." ...

Orangewood Academy won the Division 6 championship last season, and the Spartans got moved up to Division 4A this season. The Spartans finished second to Fairmont Prep in the San Joaquin League. Orangewood Academy, which is led by senior Raquel Spencer and freshmen Yvonne Ornelas and Elizabeth Garcia, is the No.12 seed. ...

Another hot team heading into the postseason is Foothill, which has a seven-game winning streak heading into the Division 1A playoffs. The Knights completed a three-game gauntlet by beating El Dorado, Brea Olinda and Canyon to close out the regular season with a share of the Century League title. Foothill plays host to Capistrano Valley in the first round Saturday at 7 p.m. ...

Sonora is the No. 2 seed in Division 3AAA. The Raiders got upset by Agoura in the second round last season. Guess who is Sonora's likely opponent in the second round on Saturday? That's right, Agoura.

Contact the writer: carias@ocregister.com


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