Guards Are Dominating!

February 25, 2009 by  

BELLARMINE-JEFFERSON HIGH — The Bellarmine-Jefferson High girls’ basketball team scored 26 points, helped cause 13 turnovers, had 11 steals and hit three three-pointers in its playoff game against Sherman Indian.

And that was just in the first quarter.

The Guards appeared serious about making a push for their second-straight CIF Southern Section championship game when they took on the Braves on Saturday in a Division VA contest.

Bell-Jeff shot the ball well, defended even better and ran their transition game to a tee in a performance that was nothing short of dominating.

The Guards enjoyed their biggest offensive output of the season in an 87-22 second-round victory at Bell-Jeff.

Also evident in the win was the Guards’ depth, as Coach Bryan Camacho went to his bench early and often and the team rarely missed a step no matter who was on the floor.

“We have a lot of depth, and that helps us stay fresh and stay aggressive throughout the game,” said Camacho, whose team had a bye in the first round. “We are also fortunate that we have so many players than can handle the ball.”

The win was the 13th straight for the No. 1-seeded Guards, as they notched their 27th victory of the season.

The team’s only loss came Dec. 30 when it fell in a nonleague game to Montclair Prep, 63-62.

The win puts Bell-Jeff — the Santa Cruz League champion — into today’s quarterfinal round. The Guards will take on host St. Margaret’s of San Juan Capistrano at 7:30 p.m.

The Tartans (18-7) tied for the Academy League championship and are the division’s No. 8 seed.

St. Margaret’s, which also had a first-round bye, advanced to the quarterfinals by defeating Riverside Christian on Saturday, 56-45.

The Tartans’ offense is dominated by junior guard Kayla Moritzsky, who averages 22.8 points, 5.3 steals and 4.5 assists a game. The team also has solid players in 6-foot-2 junior center Claire Hosinsky (13.1 points, 13.3 rebounds, 5.6 blocks and 32 three-pointers) and freshman shooting guard Jenny Tedori (12.3 points, 4.3 assists, 3.6 steals).

“We know things are going to be a lot tougher for us for the rest of our games,” Camacho said. “And we know we are going to have to play a lot on the road. We’re just going to have to be road warriors.”

Bell-Jeff will be trying to knock off its second straight league champion after taking care of Sherman Indian. The Braves (13-5) placed first in the Arrowhead League and came into Saturday’s game on an 11-game winning streak.

However, they were no match for the Guards, whose full-court trap created problems for Sherman Indian from the opening tip-off.

Reigning All-Area Player of the Year Shelley Gupilan, a senior, led the charge in the first quarter. She scored 10 of her 18 points in the quarter and also had five steals.

Freshman Rishonda Napier came off the bench to score seven of her game-high 20 points in the first.

The pressure from Bell-Jeff was so intense that the Braves didn’t even get off a shot until almost four minutes into the game.

Sherman Indian’s only field goal of the quarter came at the 3:47 mark when Leeandria Witcraft hit an awkward leaner that went in.

The Guards took advantage, running to a 26-3 lead after one quarter.

Bell-Jeff relaxed the pressure in the second quarter, but its offense continued to flourish. Behind 23 second-quarter points, the Guards enjoyed a 49-17 lead at the half.

In the second half, the Guards had their fastbreak working to perfection. The team continually beat the Braves down the floor in transition to pile on the points.

“We have a group of players who can score at different times,” Camacho said. “We have seven kids who have scored 20 points or more.”

Behind the torrid transition game, Bell-Jeff took a 70-19 lead into the fourth quarter, which was played with a running clock.

Margeaux Gupilan added 16 points and Julia Tani had nine.

The Guards travel to San Juan Capistrano, CA ,on Wednesday, February 25, to play yet another league champion, the Saint Margaret Tartans in a third round bout . The Tartans come into the bout with a record of 18-7 and the Academy league champions.

Story by: Jeff Tully – Burbank Leader
Photo by: Tammy Abbott/The Leader

UPDATE

Guards defeat Saint Margaret 74 -26! On to the semi’s…

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