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REGIONAL PREVIEWS

Alemany, Harvard-Westlake Take to the Road

Indians travel more than 100 miles to Wasco for first game since losing in Southern Section semifinals on Feb. 26.

March 07, 2000|DAVE DESMOND | TIMES STAFF WRITER

How do you get to Wasco?

One way is by taking Interstate 5 past Bakersfield.

Getting upset in the Southern Section semifinals is another.

Two weeks ago, Alemany High appeared home free after being seeded No. 1 in the section Division III-AA girls' basketball playoffs.

Now, the Indians must hit the road for a first-round game of the Southern Regional tonight at 7 at Wasco High.

Alemany (23-6) hasn't played since a 61-49 loss to Fullerton Rosary on Feb. 26.

In all other divisions, a semifinal loss would mean the end of the season, but not in Division III, where the final four advance to the eight-team division regional.

"This is like a rebirth for us," said Coach Melissa Hearlihy of Alemany. "It's nice to know you have another chance. The kids are excited and ready to go."

Alemany will travel more than 100 miles to face the three-time defending Central Section champion.

Wasco lost to Alemany in the regional semifinals in 1998 and to Harvard-Westlake in the semifinals last season.

Vandy Noldon, a senior swing player, is averaging 17.3 points and 11 rebounds, and sophomore forward Lindsey West is averaging 16.2 points and 10 rebounds for Wasco (21-7), which defeated Selma, 64-41, Friday night for its section championship.

Alemany, playing its first state playoff game since advancing to the final in 1998, continues to play without starting guard Amy Lowe, who tore her anterior cruciate ligament last month. Junior forward Karina Siam, who injured a knee during the loss to Rosary, returned to the team Thursday and is expected to play.

Guard Kate Beckler, who is averaging 20.5 points, will likely be the key to Alemany's success. She recently became the third girls' player in region history to surpass 2,000 career points.

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