Orangewood survives first-round scare
Sometimes teams have to win ugly in the CIF-SS girls basketball playoffs.
Orangewood Academy has some valuable experience after winning the Division 6 championship last season and the Spartans put to good use to pull out a 43-39 victory over Bassett of La Puente in the first round of the Division 4A playoffs on Thursday night at Orangewood Academy High.
"It can't always be pretty," Spartans coach Leslie Aragon said. "It's all about advancing. We wished we could have pushed the lead there when we got it near 10 to double digits and been more relaxed at the end. But ultimately these type of games make you tougher. I'm sure and we're hoping we'll be in games like this for a few more days or a couple more weeks."
On a night when Orangewood Academy's captain struggled to generate any offense in the low post, the Spartans relied on their guards to carry them and junior Stephany Olvera and freshmen Yvone Ornelas and Elezabeth Garcia were up to the task.
Olvera had 14 points, including two 3-pointers, and three assists, Ornelas had 10 points, including three 3-pointers, and five assists and Garcia had seven points, five rebounds and two assists.
Both teams struggled to generate any offense in the first half, but the Spartans took a 17-16 edge into halftime.
The second half featured two ties and five lead changes. Kailey Gutierrez gave the Olympian a 32-29 lead with a 3-pointer with 6:31 left.
Ornelas' back-to-back 3-pointers gave the Spartans a 36-32 lead with 5:20 remaining. Orangwood Academy pushed the lead to 42-34 on a Garcia layup with 2:11 left.
Bassett (9-12) had one final charge to make things interesting, but the Spartans (22-5) held on for the victory.
Orangewood Academy plays fifth-seeded Whitney of Cerritos in a Division 4A second-round game on Saturday at 8 p.m.
In other girls basketball playoff games:
In Division 3AAA:
La Habra 53, Western 39: Allyson O'Brien continued her hot streak with 29 points, including five 3-pointers, and Megan Chancellor and Lizette Martinez scored 11 points apiece for the Highlanders (18-9).
In Division 3AA:
Irvine 58, Ramona of Riverside 54: Natalie Tran knocked down four 3-pointers and finished with 26 points to lead the visiting Vaqueros (15-12).
In Division 4AA:
Rosary 54, Pasadena Poly 35: Samantha Hernandez scored 19 points, including three 3-pointers, and Clara Linhoff scored 14 points, including four 3-pointers, for the Royals (15-11) in their victory at home.