Elaine Youngs made quite a splash in her return Wednesday night.
Youngs scored 35 points to lead the El Toro High School girls' basketball team to a 66-54 victory over Alemany in the second round of the Southern Section 3-A playoffs.
Not bad for someone who hadn't played since Jan. 14 because of a sprained ankle. Youngs, a 6-foot senior forward, was a Times' All-County selection as a junior and is one of Orange County's best players.
She has meant a great deal to El Toro. Without Youngs, the Chargers finished third, behind Mission Viejo and Capistrano Valley, in the tough South Coast League. And that cost the Chargers a shot at a possible seeded position in the playoffs.
Tonight, she leads unseeded El Toro (23-5) into the quarterfinal round against Valencia (19-6) at El Toro.
Valencia is paced by Lauren Rich, who had 23 points in the Tigers' 57-37 victory over Charter Oak Wednesday.
All of tonight's games are at 7:30.
In other 3-A games:
Los Altos (18-3) at Brea-Olinda (27-1)--Brea-Olinda has breezed so far, but that should change tonight. Los Altos has eliminated Colton, 57-35, and Riverside North, 69-40. Susan Peters, a junior, averages, 25.4 points a game. Brea, the top-seeded team, is led by the trio of Susan Tousey, Aimee McDaniel and Tammy Blackburn. Brea hasn't lost since Dec. 22, a streak of 17 straight victories.
Capistrano Valley (20-6) at Schurr (22-6)--Each team escaped a close call in the second round to advance. Capistrano Valley gained a 62-60 overtime victory against Katella Wednesday. Schurr edged Louisville, 57-51. Heather Schoeny and Holly Anderson lead Capistrano Valley.
In the 4-A division:
Lynwood (26-3) at Marina (22-5)--Third-seeded Lynwood has not been tested in two previous playoff victories. Marina had its second difficult game Wednesday after scrambling to a 51-50 victory over Muir in last Saturday's opening round. Center Dawn Charroin scored a school-record 36 points in Marina's 67-62 win at Lakewood. Charroin is averaging 25 points a game in the playoffs. Lynwood is led by Trise Jackson, a senior guard.
In the 2-A division:
Woodbridge (23-5) at St. Mary's (18-8)--St. Mary's is coming off a 47-46 upset of top-seeded La Quinta. Tammy Booker, who averages 21.1 points a game, and Erin Banks, who gets 16.9 rebounds per game, lead St. Mary's. Woodbridge is paced by Kathy Millat, but Leslie Rathbun, a sophomore point guard, had 17 of the Warriors' 21 second-half points in a 51-48 victory over La Habra Wednesday.
In the Small Schools:
Hesperia Christian (16-5) at Newport Christian (14-4)--Newport Christian upset top-seeded Rio Hondo Prep, 35-33, in the second round Wednesday. Becky Berkedile scored 20 points, including two free throws in the final minute to help pull out the victory.