Three Squads Open At Home!

February 16, 2011 by  

BURBANK — It was a banner year as far as the CIF Southern Section playoffs are concerned for the four local girls’ basketball teams.

All four programs — Burroughs, Burbank, Bellarmine-Jefferson and Providence highs — all made the playoffs. In addition, three of the squads — the Indians, Guards and Pioneers — all won or shared league championships.

Those three teams also received some respect, as Bell-Jeff (No. 4), Burroughs (No. 4) and Providence (No. 14) are all ranked in their respective divisions.

Burroughs was able to break a longstanding dry spell in league, as it captured the Pacific League championship, the program’s first in 33 years. For Bell-Jeff, it won its fourth straight Santa Cruz League crown and Providence shared the Liberty League title, it’s second in a row.

With first-round games beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday, here is a look at the postseason matchups.

La Habra at Bell-Jeff: The Guards have moved up in divisions, and will likely find the going tougher in their quest to navigate through Division III-A.

With a No. 4 seed, the division is rife with possible roadblocks, most notably No. 1 Orange Lutheran, No. 2 Bonita and No. 3 Bishop Amat.

Bell-Jeff (20-6) — which fell in the Division IVA semifinals last season against Windward, 61-57 — had the advantage of gaining valuable experience throughout the season playing bigger schools in nonleague and tournament games.

The Guards will take on a La Habra (13-13) team that finished fourth in the Freeway League. The Highlanders haven’t played well of late, as they enter the postseason losing seven of their last eight games.

Bell-Jeff, which won a state championship in 2009, has a wealth of talented players. Rishonda Napier and Jasmine Smith played on the state-title team. Other important players this season have been University of Arizona-bound Layana White, Johnece Miller, Leslie Lopez-Wood and Kiah Jones.

Jeff Tully (read full article)

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