BURBANK — Oxnard High is quick on defense, quick on offense and quick to point out it still has a ways to go to reach its full potential.
"But if we can bring it all together, I think we can be right there with the big girls," senior guard Michelle Morgan said.
The Yellowjackets were right there with one of the Southland's best girls' basketball teams on Saturday night, battling Chino Hills Ayala before falling, 40-36, in the championship game of the Bell-Jeff Summer Hoops Finale.
It was Ayala's fifth tournament title of the summer and its second consecutive Bell-Jeff championship.
Oxnard established itself as one of the few teams that can match up with the speedy Bulldogs, who have a 55-2 summer record while running almost every opponent out of the gym.
Ayala possesses one of the Southland's most potent offenses, and set a Southern Section record last season with 245 three-point baskets.
Against Oxnard's stifling man-to-man defense, however, the Bulldogs made only two of 13 three-point shots and 13 of 38 overall.
Morgan, who scored eight points, limited high-scoring guard Ligaya Dozier to 14 points.
"They were very quick and matched up very well," Coach Mel Sims of Ayala said.
Sophomore forward Kia Riley scored 15 points for the Bulldogs.
Sophomore guard Sienna Abraham had 12 points for Oxnard.
There are high expectations at Oxnard, which posted a 14-15 record last season but tied Channel Islands and Camarillo for the Pacific View League title.
Senior starters Morgan, Memory Rhone and Sara Wilkins return from that team.
The Yellowjackets finished the summer 17-8.
"I can definitely tell you that they are not a 14-15 team," Sims said.
"They are going to be in the hunt."
In other Bell-Jeff tournament games:
Simi Valley 46, Burroughs 36--The Pioneers finished with a 13-3 run to break open a 33-33 contest and win the third-place game.
Sophomore point guard Teresa Cooper scored 21 points and senior forward Elise Metcalf added 11 for Simi Valley.
Sophomore forward Gracie Coronado scored 15 points for Burroughs.
Valencia 32, Agoura 30--Megan Honaker made two of four free throws in the final 35 seconds for Valencia, which won the ninth-place game.
Honaker scored nine points, and Valerie Pina and Rashae Minor each added seven.
Jennifer Lacy scored 14 points for Agoura.
Canyon 37, Crescenta Valley 30--Julianna Diaz scored 14 points and Erica Doyle added 10 for the Cowboys, who won the fifth-place game.
Sinnamonn Garrett had nine points for Crescenta Valley.