Bell-Jeff Falls In Tourney!

July 21, 2009 by  

The only area girls’ basketball team with more young talent than Bell-Jeff of Burbank might be Oaks Christian of Westlake Village.

Bell-Jeff suffered some growing pains Saturday at the 23rd annual San Diego Classic, but Oaks Christian’s impressive collection of incoming freshmen and sophomores was on display at UC San Diego, cruising to a 46-27 fourth-round victory over Peninsula of Rolling Hills Estates in the Division 2 A bracket, then beating White River, Wash., in the quarterfinals to set up a semifinal showdown with Winslow, Ariz.

With sophomore Brianna Barrett and newcomers Beth Mounier and Ayzha Aupiu supporting senior forward Katie Brooks and junior guard Crystal Owusu, the Lions possess the talent to compete in the elite Division 3 A at the nation’s largest high school basketball tournament. But Oaks Christian is taking on all challengers in the 128-team bracket at the four-day event, with the next opportunity coming at 10 a.m. today against either Huntington Beach or Winslow, Ariz.

Bell-Jeff is another small-school power stepping up to the challenge of competing against opponents with larger enrollments, and the Guards’ Division 3 A quarterfinal against Brea-Olinda was just another example.

Although Bell-Jeff lost 39-30 in a battle of defending state champions, the Guards held a one-point lead over Brea-Olinda with 13 minutes remaining.

“We missed an opportunity, that’s what hurts the most about this one,” said Bell-Jeff coach

Bryan Camacho, lamenting his team’s six-of-13 effort from the free-throw line, along with several missed lay-up opportunities in the first half.

“But it’s part of the learning process. We can’t feel sorry for ourselves. We’ll grow and we’ll get better from this, that’s what summer is all about.”

Julia Tani and Margeaux Gupilan each had seven points, with Leslie Lopez-Wood and Rishonda Napier adding six points apiece for Bell-Jeff, which cut the deficit to six points with 1:10 remaining, only to miss an uncontested layup and the front end of a one-and-one free-throw situation.

“Our energy level was low. We just didn’t come out as hard as we usually do,” Gupilan said. “We wasted a lot of time and didn’t take advantage of the chances we had in the first half.”

Bell-Jeff lost to Villa Park in the fifth-place semifinals Saturday.

Thousand Oaks’ run in the open division was cut short in the quarterfinals by Sonora of La Habra. Chaminade of West Hills suffered a 43-34 loss in the fourth round of the Division 2 A bracket.

Frome part of Notre Dame alumni for Japan game

Former Hart of Newhall standout Chris Frome has been selected to the final 57-player roster for the Notre Dame/Japan Bowl scheduled for July 25 at the Tokyo Dome.

The Notre Dame alumni team, coached by Lou Holtz, will take on Team Japan as part of the celebration of the 75 th anniversary of the Japan American Football Association.

More than 100 Notre Dame alumni, coaches and university representatives are scheduled to leave South Bend, Ind., today to travel to Tokyo for a week of practices and media events leading up to the game.

Frome, who played for Notre Dame from 2002-06, was an all-state defensive lineman in 2001 for Hart, which finished 13-0 and won the Southern Section Div. III title.

Also on the roster is former LaCrescenta resident Tim Kenney, a member of the 2005 and ’06 Notre Dame rosters. Kenney played at Belvidere High in Illinois before attending Notre Dame.

– Erik Boal – Special to the Daily News

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