Obstacles Seem To Be Never-Ending For Bell-Jeff!

January 23, 2010 by  

CHINO HILLS – Bell-Jeff of Burbank’s reward for winning four games in a five-day span is a showdown Saturday with one of the most successful girls’ basketball programs in the state.

The Guards (17-4), the defending Div. V state champion, will take on four-time Div. I state champ Long Beach Poly (14-2) in the marquee contest of the Ayala Extravaganza. The game, the last of nine on the day at Ayala High in Chino Hills, is scheduled to tip off at 9 p.m.

Long Beach Poly is ranked No. 4 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports – losing only to No. 2 Brea Olinda and No. 3 Mater Dei of Santa Ana – and Bell-Jeff is No. 18.

The Jackrabbits, who Bell-Jeff coach Bryan Camacho refer to as “the monster,” are ranked No. 5 nationally by USA Today and No. 8 according to ESPN/Rise Magazine.

“We’re excited to be on the same stage with them, but we’re not going to be satisfied with just being on the same stage with them,” Camacho said. “The past week, it’s been like coaching a college or an NBA team. It seems like every other day there’s something going on. But our kids enjoy the competition. They have a great desire to compete.”

Aside from both competing last year in the state finals at ARCO Arena in Sacramento, Bell-Jeff – the top-ranked team in Div. IV-A – and Long Beach Poly, No. 1 in Div.I-AA, have additional history.

Although it was only the summer, the Guards recorded a 40-29 victory July 19 over the Jackrabbits in the 3 A Division seventh-place game of the San Diego


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Classic.

Bell-Jeff has taken on the most challenging nonleaue schedule in program history, facing Harvard-Westlake of Studio City twice, Bishop Amat of La Puente, Bishop Montgomery of Torrance, The Bishop’s School of La Jolla, Corona Centennial, Diamond Ranch of Pomona, Santiago of Corona, Oaks Christian of Westlake Village and Santa Monica.

But Long Beach Poly poses perhaps the biggest challenge for the Guards, who don’t boast a player taller than 6 feet.

“I take my hat off to our kids for the maximum effort they put out there every time,” Camacho said. “We’re humble enough to respect Poly, but we’re going to come out and give it everything we have. And we’re only going to get better because of it.”

Erik Boal-Special to the Daily News

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