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Even While Looking Bad, Brea-Olinda Wins Big


BREA — Even without the basset hound eyes or the bald head, Brea-Olinda girls' basketball Coach Mark Trakh did a pretty decent Jerry Tarkanian impression Tuesday night.

Forget that Brea had just dispatched Torrance Bishop Montgomery, 55-38, in a Division II Southern California Girls' Regional first-round game.

Forget that Brea's victory marked the third straight season the Lady Cats (30-1) won at least 30 games.

As far as Trakh was concerned, it wasn't so much that the Lady Cats had advanced, but how they did it.

"If we play like this in our next game, we're going to hand in our uniforms on Friday," Trakh said. "We won this game ugly."

Aesthetics aside, freshman point guard Nicole Erickson picked up the slack for Brea, scoring 12 of her game-high 17 points in the first half.

Erickson also did a fine defensive job on Bishop guard Lily Cabaleiro, holding her to nine points--well below her 18.3 average.

Brea's stingy man-to-man defense was the difference. The Lady Cats jammed the passing lanes and harassed Bishop's ballhandlers. The Knights (24-6) shot only 31% (15 for 49) from the field.

Cabaleiro made only three of her 12 field goal attempts.

But Brea wasn't much better, hitting 18 of 53 from the field for 34%.

"We can't pick the state championships to do that kind of thing," Trakh said.

The Lady Cats' offensive rebounding got them plenty of second chances. Senior center Jinelle Williams and reserves Katie Bauer (eight rebounds) and Sarah Beckley (six rebounds) led Brea's interior defense.

Bauer added 10 points off the bench for Brea, which also got 11 from forward Jody Anton.

Brea meets either Reedley (21-5) or Carlsbad (24-2) in the semifinals Thursday at Brea.

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