The Ventura High girls' basketball team will face top-seeded Brea-Olinda for the second time in a week today when the Cougars play in the Southern California Division II regional championship game at 12:30 p.m. at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.
Brea-Olinda (31-1) defeated Ventura, 50-42, in the Southern Section II-AA Division title game last Saturday at Cal Poly Pomona. The Lady Cats won the state Division III title in 1989 and are attempting to make their third consecutive appearance in a state championship game.
Seventh-seeded Ventura (25-4), which lost in the second round of the state tournament last season, had to make two long journeys to advance to its first regional championship.
The Cougars defeated Bakersfield North, 72-58, Thursday and upset second-seeded El Cajon Valley (27-2), 71-66, Tuesday. Brea-Olinda, which has won 86 of its past 88 games, beat Carlsbad, 61-47, and Bishop Montgomery, 55-38, in the first round.
Four Ventura players, led by senior guard Andrea Williams with 14 points, scored in double figures against North. Cori Herman and Denise Rea each had 13, and Wendy Ward added 11 points and nine assists. Ventura made 26 of 49 shots (53.1%) from the field.
"Everybody shot well and we had good balance," Ventura Coach Glenn Gray said.
That was not the case against Brea-Olinda. The Lady Cats held Ventura without a field goal for the first six minutes of the fourth quarter and to just six points in the period. The Cougars made 16 of 49 shots from the field (32.6%) and were six of 25 (24.0%) in the second half.
"We didn't play too well against them last time," Gray said. "You just hope that when you don't shoot well that you play good defense."
Brea-Olinda's Jody Anton, a 5-foot-11 junior, scored 18 points and had 16 rebounds against Ventura, and Jinelle Williams, a 5-foot-9 senior center, had 16 points and 13 rebounds. Anton scored 18 points and freshman guard Nicole Erickson had 14 against Carlsbad.
"I don't think we are intimidated," Gray said. "It's going to be a new game. They're well-coached and have a great tradition. You just have to believe and never let up."