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GIRLS' BASKETBALL / DIVISION I-AA PLAYOFFS

Vaqueros Race Past Chino, 64-39

February 20, 2000

Junior Staci Morita scored 17 points and sophomore Kristin Thawley added 15 points and 10 rebounds to lead Irvine High to a 64-39 victory over Chino in the second round of the Southern Section Division I-AA girls' basketball playoffs Saturday night at Irvine.

Morita made four of seven field-goal attempts, including three of four three-pointers. She also made six of seven free throws.

Thawley also shot well, making six of nine field goals.

Irvine (23-4) plays Fontana Miller in the third round on Wednesday.

The Vaqueros, who had a first-round bye, came out fast against Chino (13-14). The Vaqueros' full-court pressure bothered the Cowboys, who fell behind, 14-2, with 1 minute 54 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

Irvine, which forced 14 turnovers in the first half, led, 16-5, after one quarter, then moved out to a 33-13 lead at halftime.

The Vaqueros, who were coming off a 53-43 loss to Woodbridge in the final regular-season game, came into the game knowing they were the favorites against Chino.

"We told them to play their game, and not worry about the other people," Irvine Coach Dennis Hurley said.

The Vaqueros forced 23 turnovers, made 20 of 48 field-goal attempts (42%) and 18 of 30 free throws (60%).

"We can do a lot of real nice things when we just play basketball," said Hurley.

Chino made 15 of 55 field-goal attempts (27%) and connected on just six of 17 free throws (35%).

Chino was led by Ashley Lavender, who scored 13 points.

In other Division I-AA games:

Century 29, Capistrano Valley 27--Adriana Mendez had 14 points for the host Centurions (23-4), who led most of the way.

Century advanced to play Lynwood.

Nicki Howard made two three-pointers in the final 1:10 to bring Capistrano Valley (18-10) within two points.

El Toro 85, Moreno Valley Valley View 43--Giuliana Mendiola had 35 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists for El Toro (21-6). Sara Brown had 19 points, including five three-pointers, and seven assists for the Chargers, who advanced to play Alhambra.

Esperanza 73, Bell Gardens 49--Bethany Blair and Kristin Peters both scored 20 points for visiting Esperanza (22-6).

Westminster 65, Ontario 47--Diana Hernandez scored 16 points for the host Lions (22-5), who advanced to play Oxnard.

Westminster broke the game open with a 31-12 second-half run.

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