Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Page 780

Millikan 38, Los Osos 26

Southern Section playoff game results from last night:

There were so many options last night that it boggled the mind (one of the reasons I enjoy living in Los Angeles). I contemplated a couple other games between close-seeded teams, but after a full day didn’t feel like driving out to the far stretches of Orange or Los Angeles County. So I decided on the LA Times-proclaimed “game of the day” between #6 Millikan and #9 Los Osos.

The game got off to a fairly even start, but Millikan’s defense started making a difference right away. They were playing man, and continued to do so all the way through, while Los Osos mostly stuck with a 2-3 zone that wasn’t working. Millikan also was outhustling the Grizzlies on both ends of the court.

In the second quarter both teams hit a mental block, and the score was 16-11 Rams for about three minutes. Millikan then broke it open with some quick baskets and free throws, closing out the half 22-12.

Los Osos made a run in the third quarter, but Millikan kept up the pressure defense and slowly wore their opponents down. Two minutes into the fourth quarter, the Rams were back up 33-22. Besides strong defense, Millikan dominated the boards.

Ram senior guards Jaslyn Cosey and Ashley Mitchell put up 12 and nine points, respectively. For the Grizzlies, senior guard Amanda Copas scored 13 points and North Carolina-bound center Cierra Warren had eight. Going into the game, Warren’s point average was 19.1.

Millikan advances to the Division I-AA quarterfinal.

Los Angeles City Section scores from last night

#1 Chatsworth 71, #16 Locke, 21

#8 Dorsey 72, #9 Palisades 70

#5 Carson 65, #12 Granada Hills 33

#4 Faifax 65, #13 Banning

#3 Washington Prep 70, #14 Birmingham 28

#6 El Camino Real 60, #11 Venice 44

#7 Westchester 50, #10 Crenshaw 48

#2 Taft 52, #15 Narbonne 38

No surprises whatsoever, and of course the teams closest in rank had the tightest games. I bet the Dorsey-Palisades matchup was a heart-attacker.

Round 2, the quarter-finals, will be 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 25 at the sites of the higher-ranked teams. The matchups look like this:

Dorsey at Chatsworth

Carson at Fairfax

El Camino Real at Washington Prep

Westchester at Taft

The winners of the first two games then play each other Friday, Feb. 27, as do the winners of the third and fourth games. Chatsworth will beat Dorsey, but the Carson-Fairfax game is a toss-up – either team could win.

Washington will beat El Camino Real, and Taft will defeat Westchester. This will set up a re-match of the “defibrilators required” game covered in this blog Dec. 12 (“Taft 48, Washington Prep 46”).

Whoever survives next Friday’s round will advance to the finals on Saturday, March 7 at USC’s Galen Center.

Last night I went to the Washington Prep-Birmingham matchup. I didn’t take notes, because I don’t do so in blowout, aka ass whoopin, games. No disrespect to Birmingham, because they played hard from buzzer to buzzer. But Washington is extremely athletic, and they were visibly driven last night. The adage that good teams take it up a few notches during the playoffs is true for the Washington Generals, as they were clicking on all cylinders against Birmingham.

Washington junior guard Kejuana Gardner finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds, while sophomore center Reshanda Gray added 20 points and eight boards. Junior guards Kiana Furlow and Tayllor Gipson had 11 and 10 points, respectively.

This week I’ve also decided one thing once and for all: high school ball is my first love. College and pro are fun, but for me, true passion comes from prep hoops.

Is it Wednesday yet?

As the WNBA turns

Rumors that Yolanda Griffith won’t return to the Storm this summer are official – she just signed with the Indiana Fever:

In the meantime, a poster on a message board says that “a trade or two is about to happen” involving Tina Thompson and Lauren Jackson:

Could Lauren Jackson, who has said Seattle is the only place she’ll ever play, be leaving the Storm?

Mechelle Voepel: Tennessee fans, get a grip

However, I’d like to take the opportunity to say to any Tennessee fans who are freaking out: Chill. Welcome to your very brief sojourn into how the other 95 percent (or more) lives. Buy Debby Jennings’ terrific “Vault of Basketball” book to get you through this trying time. You’ll notice it has EIGHT national championship trophies on the cover.

Not all of Orange Nation is loosing its grip, of course. Some fans are being very reasonable, even good-humored. They saw a lot of this coming in the Season of the Rocky Top Rookies, although perhaps not the additional blows of losing Cait McMahan and Vicki Baugh to injury.

Others, though, have lost perspective or never really had any – because Tennessee has been so freaking good for so long, fans didn’t have to develop it. Vol expert writer Maria Cornelius jokingly said when I was in Knoxville last month that she stays fairly busy just trying to (figuratively) talk fans down from ledges.

The reality? Tennessee is a team of teeny-boppers, including 19-year-old sophomore Angie Bjorklund, whose game-face expression is starting to resemble that of somebody who just woke up and is gradually realizing she’s in one of those “Saw” movies.

(Go to her blog at

I appreciate this entry. I am one of those optimistic fans, but last night’s loss did surprise me, and it bothered me. After reading all the “world is ending” posts on the Summitt message board, I didn’t have anything to say about the game.

But Voepel is right: there will be a tomorrow. And her humor is appreciated.

Southern Section scores, day one

Orange Lutheran 73, El Segundo 46
Gahr 74, La Quinta 53
Troy 57, Jordan 29
JSerra Catholic 62, Estancia 20
Huntington Beach 68, Kaiser 47
Segerstrom 43, Loara 26
Marina 60, Mission Viejo 52
Northwood 52, Garden Grove 49
Orangewood Academy 49, Hillcrest Christian/Granada Hills 17
Rancho Alamitos 61, Pacifica 43
Rosary 83, Godinez 28
University 62, Saddleback 25
Santa Margarita 63, Savanna 38
Edison 59, Sunny Hills 27
Great Oak 72, Tesoro 41
El Dorado 66, Westminster 46
El Toro 50, Righetti 30
Cypress 53, Mayfair 36
Esperanza 68, California 43
Valencia 72, Burroughs 54
Canyon 60, Palm Springs 23
Calvary Chapel/Santa Ana 46, Whitney 35
Brea Olinda 88, La Serna 14
Irvine 49, Palm Desert 41
Fullerton 49, Rowland 20
Royal 54, Century 33
Katella 60, Serrano 25
Villa Park 69, Simi Valley 32
Laguna Hills 47, South Torrance 37
Valley Christian/Cerritos at Sage Hill Sonora 61, Wilson/Hacienda Heights 41
Westridge 68, Fairmont Prep 36
Saddleback Valley Christian 57, Crean Lutheran South 22
Knight 70 Hesperia 33
LB Millikan 68 Quartz Hill 55
Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks) 56 Littlerock 31
Wilson 67, Schurr 55
Millikan 68, Quartz Hill 55
Poly 65, Paramount 15

Check this blog out:

City Section starts tomorrow! Like the Jackson Five, I’ll be there.

Tales of two Bruins

Very moving piece on the ways center Moniquee Alexander coped with the death of her mother to breast cancer when she was 11 years old:

Coach Nikki Caldwell proved to be a confidant for Alexander right after they met:

“She’s positive and humbled by it,” Caldwell said. “She has such an amazing heart. She has a gentle soul in that big body of her’s.”

Then there’s today’s story in the Daily Bruin (bless that newspaper for all the coverage they’ve given the team) about reserve guard Allison Taka. Under the former coach, Taka sat on the bench, and as a result, lost all her confidence. Caldwell and her teammates have helped restore that:

In that meeting, Taka said she made it clear to her new head coach that she was concerned with the apparent lack of a role she had on the team. Caldwell, however, was quick to soothe those concerns, falling back on what has become a team mantra over the course of a season.
“She did have concerns,” Caldwell said. “Our meeting was about her getting to know what my expectations were of her. I wasn’t basing those expectations on anything except what we’ve seen this year.”

“I told her minutes are going to be earned, never given, and she’s earned it.”

Taka now comes off the bench regularly and is relied on to hit shots from the outside, provide an energy boost and challenge opponents defensively. It is a role reversal that has taken some time to get used to. Coaches and teammates have all made an effort to help Taka establish confidence in her playing ability, something the guard says has been difficult.

“It’s taken me awhile to start believing in myself, to really grasp that everyone was important, from the starters to the bench players,” Taka said. “It’s still hard for me to grasp that I actually have an important role.”

Now that’s awesome.


McDonald’s All-American teams picked

No surprises on either roster. And there are several other players who could have made this roster as well, except for the amount of talent in this class. The quality of the game is rising on every level.

The game is April 1 in Miami.

Link to McDonald’s site:

“Lost” season at Rutgers

This is a sad piece, featuring an interview with Rutgers senior Heather Zurich, whose senior year has been marked by sadness and frustration:

Mike Flynn of Bluestar Basketball bets that there will be a “mass exodus” of players leaving the Scarlet Knight program at the end of the year, in the last post on this thread:


Sparks to hold open tryouts

I don’t know if this is a publicity stunt or not. I mean, do they really expect to get a player off the streets with so much unused talent in the WNBA, i.e. at least two teams worth of players who got cut last year? Also, with the new 11-player limit this year?


And who’s Angela Bryant?

February Madness: it’s on like donkey kong!

City Section bracket here:

For the Southern Section, go to this page:

Under the sports tab hit ‘basketball,’ ‘girls basketball’ and then ‘playoff brackets.’ There are multiple spread sheets with brackets in all divisions.

City Section playoffs start Friday, and Southern Section games begin tomorrow.

I’m so excited!!!! This is my favorite time of year, the next six weeks.

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