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Mater Dei didn't see blowout coming
It was only the second week of the season, but Mater Dei's 61-25 victory over Troy in the championship game of the Matt Denning Hoops Classic on Friday at Mater Dei High was shocking.
It wasn't shocking that the three-time defending state champions were victorious, but the margin of victory was shocking. After all, Troy has "The Big Three" --- Briana Roberson, Gabriella Hanson and Alecia Dimas.
"I was surprised by the game (and how it) went because I thought we would have trouble stopping them, and I thought Roberson's quickness would hurt us," Mater Dei coach Kevin Kiernan said. "The kids really played well defensively in the half court and rebounded really well. We got a bunch of stops, executed well on offense, hit some threes and all of a sudden we were up big.
"It's early in the season and hopefully both teams will benefit from playing a big game and will grow from it."
Woodbridge defeated Dana Hills, 79-44, Aliso Niguel, 78-43, Los Alamitos, 67-54, and San Clemente, 56-49, on its way to claiming the South Coast Holiday Classic at University High last week.
"We played pretty well the whole tournament," Warriors coach Pete Belanto said. "In the championship game, Sarah (Lipton) got in early foul trouble so the kids had to adjust in the first half. When she came back in the second half and we gained some confidence with her on the court and we were able to pull away in the end.
"Wendy Shiga had a great tournament. She averaged 17.5 points and 12 rebounds and Sarah averaged 23 (points per game). Some of younger kids also played well. It was good start for us."
LANCERS WIN LADY BARON TITLE
Orange Lutheran defeated Beckman, 51-39, La Salle of Pasadena, 53-28, Fountain Valley, 54-44, and Huntington Beach, 66-33, in the Lady Baron Hoop Challenge last week at Fountain Valley.
"I have been really happy with the energy and intensity we have played with to start the season," Lancers coach Tom Howard said. "As I think it is for all teams to start the season, we are trying to figure out who we are, find consistency on the court. We have had to make some adjustments due to injury, but the girls have really battled and competed at a high level.
"It helps to have some girls who have been on varsity for a few years. Our last game things really seemed to click, and hopefully we can build on that. We have a lot of girls who contribute in a variety of ways. In last week's tournament, we had four different players named player of the game. It's great to be able to get contributions from so many different girls, and I think we are coming together as a unit really well. We are excited to try and build on a solid start."
HIGHLANDERS ARE HOT
La Habra is 8-1 and coming off a 60-53 victory over Thousand Oaks, 60-53, in the finals of the Lady Highlander Classic last week at La Habra High.
"My two senior guards, Amy Wilbourn and Allyson O'Brien, have been playing great basketball and compliment each other very well," La Habra coach Jim Bohn said. "Amy was named MVP of the Lady Highlanders Classic with a game-high 23 points and eight steals in the final. Allyson also played well in the Lady Highlander Classic by averaging 28 points per game. We also have returning senior Cyrena Gonzalez and juniors Kaili Peko and Megan Chancellor who have been key contributors in our success this year.
"Prior to the Lady Highlander Classic we traveled to El Toro for a preseason game and came away with a victory. The girls are playing confident and have bought into our system and are proud to be a part of Lady Highlanders basketball. They can't wait for practice to start every day and look forward on game days to step on the court and give their best in order to continue the success of our program." ...
The Lady Panther Classic all-tournament team: Cristina Alvarado of Century; Mariah Archuleta of Orange; Madison Cruise of Sunny Hills; T'sara Jones of Katella; Ruby Rivera of Pacifica; Shelby Julian of Trabuco Hills; Princess Thompson of Tustin; Allie Biedermann of San Juan Hills; and MVP Abby Conklin of San Juan Hills.
Northwood is off to a 7-1 start and won the Loara Tournament last week. "Tracie Hara led us from the point guard spot running the offense and directing the defense," Timberwolves coach John Clarke said. "(Sophomore) Tiffaney Pi grew up and scored in double figures for us in two games to go along with her solid defense. Danielle Munson led us in points, rebounds and blocks along with making the all-tournament team. The best thing for the team though was Kaitlin Hara breaking out of her early season shooting slump to hit three 3-pointers and score 18 points in are toughest game vs. Estancia. Kaitlin has not let the slump effect her great defensive start, but it was nice to see her knocking down shots for us. We need all three seniors to have great years." ...
The inaugural Orange County North vs. South Challenge will be held Dec. 22 at Dana Hills High. The matchups: University vs. El Toro, 10 a.m.; Westminster vs. Tesoro, 11:45 a.m.; Loara vs. San Juan Hills, 1:15 p.m.; Corona del Mar vs. Capistrano Valley, 3 p.m.; Northwood vs. Mission Viejo, 4:45 p.m.; Los Alamitos vs. Dana Hills, 6:30 p.m.; Canyon vs. Laguna Hills, 8 p.m. ...
The fourth OC/San Diego Challenge will be held Jan. 21 at Santa Margarita High. The matchups: Mission Viejo vs. Our Lady of Peace of San Diego, 12:30 p.m.; Rosary vs. Mount Miguel of Spring Valley, 2 p.m.; Orange Lutheran vs. Carlsbad, 3:30 p.m.; Santa Margarita vs. Cathedral Catholic of San Diego, 5 p.m.; and Edison vs. The Bishop's of La Jolla, 6:30 p.m. ...
The fourth Tony Matson Memorial Classic at Orange Lutheran High on Jan. 21. The matchups: Santa Margarita vs. Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth, 1 p.m.; Rosary vs. Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Montebello, 2:30 p.m.; Mater Dei vs. Pacifica of Oxnard, 4 p.m.; Orange Lutheran vs. San Clemente, 5:45 p.m.; and Orange Lutheran vs. St. John Bosco of Bellflower (Boys), 7:15 p.m.
The inaugural Division 4 Showcase is at JSerra High on Feb. 2. The schedule will be announced the week before the showcase. ...
The girls games for the Nike Extravaganza XVII will be held Feb. 3 at Mater Dei. The matchups: Rialto vs. Rosary, 4:30 p.m.; Orange Lutheran vs. Oaks Christian of Westlake Village, 6 p.m.; and Mater Dei vs. Windward of L.A., 9 p.m.