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Powerful Troy flexing its muscles

OCVARSITY.COM

The Orange County girls basketball player of the week is on Troy's roster for the second consecutive week, and for good reason.

The Warriors, ranked No. 2 in the county and No.9 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports, have knocked off Brea Olinda and Long Beach Poly on consecutive weekends.

Stanford-bound Briana Roberson scored 20 points, including three 3-pointers, to help Troy beat the Ladycats, 52-30, on Jan. 26 at Troy High. That snapped a three-game losing streak against Brea Olinda and earned Roberson the player-of-the-week honor.

Freshman point guard Barbara Sitanggan had 19 points and five rebounds, and sparked a run in the fourth quarter that helped the Warriors put away the Jackrabbits, 50-39, on Saturday at Long Beach Poly High. The Jackrabbits are ranked No. 5 in the state.

"We are peaking at the right time," Troy coach Roger Anderson said.

Troy (21-3) struggled early in big games against Mater Dei, Science Hill of Johnson City, Tenn., and Santiago of Corona, and it led to losses because the Warriors were forced to play from behind in each game.

"Everyone is understanding their role, and I moved my big 6-1 freshman (Rebecca Lazuka) into the starting lineup," Anderson said. "So now we are really big and I have more flexibility with my first sub, Margaret Pugh, who is 5-10. I'm now playing her at the guard position, so she is getting more shot attempts."

The role players are understanding their jobs, and Roberson, Oregon State-bound Gabriella Hanson and Denver-bound Alecia Dimas doing their thing. Throw in the improved play of Sitanggan and it's easy to see why the Warriors bring a seven-game winning streak into the final week of the regular season.

"The biggest thing is Barbara is now feeling comfortable enough to not only set up the three seniors, but she is now being aggressive and looking for her own shot," Anderson said. "She is so calm and poised and a real student of the game."

NOTES

Kennedy clinched its first Empire League title since 2007 with a 52-35 victory over Western on Friday. That 2007 team was led by Lauren Chow, a four-time All-Empire League selection and former league MVP. Chow is in her senior season at Cal State Fullerton. This season, the Fighting Irish are led by senior guard Aikane Higa and sophomore guard Kylie Masumiya. Higa is averaging 11.4 points, 3.3 assists and 3.7 steals per game, and Masumiya is averaging 10.1 points and three steals per game. Kennedy is ranked No. 10 in CIF-Southern Section Division 2A. ...

The Golden West League championship comes down to Segerstrom (20-4, 7-1) at Westminster (21-3, 8-0) in the regular-season finale Thursday at 7p.m. The Jaguars edged the Lions, 49-48, in the championship game of the Corona del Mar Tournament on Dec. 1, but Westminster avenged the loss with a 56-38 victory at Segerstrom on Jan. 22 to take sole possession of first place in league. Segerstrom and Westminster shared the league title last season.

Contact the writer: carias@ocregister.com


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