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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Alexander Takes It to Harvard-Westlake

Girls' basketball: She scores 33 points and San Diego champion advances, 63-58.

March 08, 2000|NICOLE VARGAS | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

SAN DIEGO — Coach Brian Taylor of Harvard-Westlake High knew San Diego Kearny had scoring machine--senior Triola Alexander, a 6-foot-2 center headed for St. Mary's College.

Even Taylor might not have predicted 33 points from Alexander, who led Kearny to a 63-58 victory over Harvard-Westlake in the first round of the Southern Regional Division III girls' basketball championships at Kearny.

"You have to give Triola credit," Taylor said. "In the first half, she was really offensively minded and she had 19 points.

"We did a better job in the second half, but we got down too far."

In a rematch of a first-round victory by the Wolverines last year, LaTanya Robnett scored 21 points and Brooke Porter had 20 for Harvard-Westlake.

However, Alexander and freshman guard Latasha Lewis, who scored 14 points, proved to be too much.

Harvard-Westlake (22-9) started strong, and finished the first quarter with an 18-10 lead thanks to three consecutive three-point baskets, two by Lindsey Medders and one by Porter.

"I knew they had two shooters, so I figured we could go with a triangle-and-two defense," Coach Scotty Gilbert of Kearny said. "It worked for a while, but then we had to change to man to man keep their shooters down."

Kearny (17-13), San Diego Section Division III champion, closed down the Wolverines' outside shooters, outscoring Harvard-Westlake, 22-5, in the second quarter.

The Komets took the lead for good, 20-18, with 5:26 remaining in the first half on a three-point basket by Lewis.

Harvard-Westlake trailed by 16 points but rallied to within 61-58 with one second left.

Elainea Washington of Kearny was fouled on the final in-bounds pass and made two free throws.

It was a physical game with three technical fouls--two on Alexander.

As the game wound down, the Wolverines were doing the fouling. Kearny sank eight of eight free throws in final two minutes.

"When games are tough like that, somebody has to step up," Taylor said. "Normally it's our top scorers, who we have relied on all year. And we rode on their backs. Unfortunately, they couldn't carry us all the way, but we gave it 100% trying to come back."

SOUTHERN REGIONAL PLAYOFFS

* PLAYOFF PREVIEW

* Simi Valley will try to regain its shooting form when it plays at Clovis West at 7:30 tonight in a Division I game. The Pioneers shot 24.5% Saturday in a loss to Mater Dei. Page 10

* BOYS' ROUNDUP

* Orange Lutheran upsets top-seeded San Diego Horizon, 63-61. Page 11

* GIRLS' ROUNDUP

* Redondo Union opens with an 83-30 victory over Tulare Western. Page 11

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