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Girls' Basketball Regional Final : Division II: Laguna Hills vs. Brea Olinda

March 15, 1997|MARTIN HENDERSON

When--1 p.m.

Where--The Pond

Laguna Hills (29-3)--The Hawks, ranked No. 2 in the state, have won 21 consecutive games and present opponents with unique matchup problems, namely 6-foot-6 Tayyiba Haneef (13.3 points, 10.3 rebounds), the county's dominant defensive force. No team has scored more than 50 points against Laguna Hills, but its 2-3 zone will be facing a Brea team that has scored more than 50 in all but one game--and that was against the second-ranked team in the nation. In addition to Haneef in the middle, the Hawks are quick on the wings, and that could be important in shutting down Brea's perimeter game, which it needs desperately to be effective. Offensively, Haneef has been on fire. She made 10 of 15 shots in Thursday's 60-41 victory over Moorpark--which didn't have a player over 5-10. Brea doesn't have a player over 5-11. Like Haneef (56.7%), forward Whitney Houser is shooting over 50% from the field (51.8%). Tamara Inoue (5.4 assists) is shooting 63.1% from the free-throw line.

Brea Olinda (29-3)--The Ladycats, ranked No. 1 in the state, have won 11 in a row. Unlike Laguna Hills, which can't go deep into its bench, the Ladycats have gotten timely contributions from theirs throughout the playoffs. It also has a proven track record against proven competition, going 12-3 against opponents that reached its section semifinals or higher; the combined record of those opponents is 378-65 (.853). Brea's strength is its adaptability and scoring diversity; it should be able to adjust, and any one of its five starters can take over the game if given the opportunity. Six players are shooting better than 44%, and four of five starters are 50% or higher. Like Haneef, center Stephanie Wettlin (7.5 rebounds) is playing as well right now as any county player has all season. Point guard Jennifer Saari (7.5 assists) is shooting 47.3% from the three-point arc and 66.7% from the free-throw line. Brea has the best interior passing Laguna Hills has seen this season.

Key to the game--These teams have contrasting styles. Brea wants to run-and-gun, Laguna Hills wants a slower half-court pace. Laguna Hills should benefit against Brea's press by playing on the larger court, and Inoue's ball-handling will be crucial. Likewise, Brea must knock down some outside shots against the Hawks zone. The balance of what these teams do is so keen, anything abnormal--foul trouble, a key injury--could have a critical effect on the outcome.

Starting Lineups

LAGUNA HILLS

*--*

P Name Ht. Avg. F Whitney Houser 5-11 12.8 F Erin Larsen 5-8 4.2 C Tayyiba Haneef 6-6 13.3 G Mary Tims 5-5 4.8 G Tamara Inoue 5-7 14.2

*--*

Coach: Lynn Taylor

*

BREA OLINDA

*--*

P Name Ht. Avg. F Stephanie Wettlin 5-11 10.2 F Rochelle Anthony 5-10 12.4 G Lindsey Davidson 5-8 8.5 G Marissa Bradley 5-7 14.2 G Jennifer Saari 5-8 11.7

*--*

Coach: Jeff Sink

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