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STATE HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS : DIVISION I GIRLS : Sacred Heart Prep Isn't Bothered by Lynwood

March 20, 1994|WENDY WITHERSPOON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

OAKLAND — Lynwood High apparently thought it could push around the new kids on the block in the State Division I girls' basketball championship Saturday night at the Oakland Coliseum Arena.

But Atherton Sacred Heart Prep pushed back, defeating the Knights, 59-53.

Lynwood was the defending Division I champion. Sacred Heart, which won the Division V title last year, was playing its first season in the top division.

"That was nice," Coach Mike Ciardella said of the Gators' Division V championship, "but there is no comparison. This is real nice."

Sacred Heart has a student enrollment of 288, making it the smallest school ever to win a Division I championship.

But it certainly didn't play like a small school.

Guard Renee Robinson made two driving layups to open the third quarter and spark the Gators' on a 14-9 run. They took a 38-34 lead into the fourth quarter.

But Lynwood didn't give up.

"I thought we could beat this team," said Tawana Grimes, a senior guard. "I always felt we could come back."

Alexis Felts scored eight points during a 13-4 run midway through the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.

"She put us on her back and carried us," Ciardella said of Felts.

Felts, a senior guard, had a game-high 26 points, including 12 of 13 free throws. Jennifer Circle, a 6-foot-3 junior center, had 18 points and nine rebounds for the Gators.

Lynwood (32-2) was hindered by early foul trouble. Timicha Kirby, the Knights' leading scorer, picked up two fouls in the first quarter.

"We beat ourselves," Coach Ellis Barfield said. "Sacred Heart didn't beat us."

Kirby, who finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds, made only one of seven three-point attempts.

Sacred Heart ended its season 38-0, setting a state record for victories in a season. Sacred Heart set the previous record last season when it finished 37-0.

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