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West Ranch broken in Brea

Wildcats girls basketball falls behind early, has season ended by division’s top-ranked team, Brea O

Posted: February 20, 2010 11:47 p.m.
Updated: February 21, 2010 4:30 a.m.
BREA — It didn’t take long for the West Ranch girls basketball team to find out why Brea Olinda is the top seed in the CIF-Southern Section Division IIAA playoff bracket.

West Ranch fell 76-34 to Brea Olinda on Saturday night in Brea, ending West Ranch’s postseason run in the second round of the CIF-SS Division IIAA playoffs.

“It was a classic situation of a team being nervous and scared,” said West Ranch head coach Randy Smith. “It was disappointing. I would have liked to make it more competitive.”

Brea Olinda’s aggressive defense was too much for West Ranch to handle and caused the Wildcats to turn the ball over 23 times, with 15 of those coming in the first half alone.

“Most teams have never seen a defense like we like to play,” said Brea Olinda head coach Jeff Sink. “We like to use a run and jump half-court man-to-man, and teams aren’t used to it.”

Brea Olinda’s defense held West Ranch (17-10) to just three points in the first quarter, while opening the game with an 11-0 run.

West Ranch scored its first basket at the 4:31 mark, and Brea Olinda (26-2) jumped out to a 23-3 lead heading into the second quarter.

“I didn’t expect us to play that tight and scared in the first quarter,” Smith said.

West Ranch loosened up a bit in the second quarter and started hitting some shots.

But West Ranch was outscored 20-11 and found themselves trailing 43-14 at the half.

“They put a lot of pressure on us, and we just needed to settle down and have some composure,” said West Ranch senior Erin Ruiz.

Smith said he told his team at halftime that he didn’t care about the score, and that he just wanted them to play basketball.

West Ranch seemed to respond, taking better care of the ball and scoring 13 points in the third quarter to Brea Olinda’s 20.

But West Ranch simply couldn’t come back from the first-half deficit.

Ahead  63-27 at the end of the third quarter, Brea Olinda’s lead swelled to 42 points, and Brea Olinda earned its 20th straight win of the season.

Ruiz led West Ranch with 12 points and Brittni Walker scored nine.

Brea Olinda had four players in double figures, including Jeanier Olukemi with 16 points, Alexis Perry had 11 points, and Kelsey Harris and Keitra Wallace with 10 points each.

“The loss doesn’t reflect on how well we’ve done all year,” said senior Kaylyn Tarver.

Smith said the game shouldn’t take anything away from the great season.

“It was the best season in West Ranch history,” he said.


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