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Buena Inches Toward Its Goal

Division I-A girls' basketball: Seniors seeking first final lead Bulldogs to 70-49 quarterfinal victory over Antelope Valley.

February 22, 2001|DAVE DESMOND | TIMES STAFF WRITER

LANCASTER — Kelly Greathouse has eclipsed her older sister's career scoring and rebounding records at Buena High, but she still yearns for one last thing.

While Nicole Greathouse led the Bulldogs to four consecutive Southern Section girls' basketball finals, Kelly, a senior, seeks her first.

"It's now or never, basically," Kelly said.

Now is getting closer.

Buena's 70-49 victory over host Antelope Valley in a Division I-A quarterfinal Wednesday pushed the Bulldogs to within one victory of their first appearance in a final since 1997, Nicole's senior year.

Top-seeded Buena (27-0), ranked No. 1 in the nation, will meet Irvine Woodbridge on Saturday for the opportunity to play at the Pyramid in Long Beach for what would be Buena's seventh section title.

"That would be huge," said Greathouse, who had 20 points and 11 rebounds, surpassing by one Nicole's career school record of 1,127 rebounds. She broke Nicole's scoring mark earlier this season and has 1,900 points.

Courtney LaVere had 18 points and 11 rebounds, Courtney Young had 13 points and seven assists and Lauren Sargent scored 10 points and was impressive defending Antelope Valley guard Crystal McCutcheon, who will attend Pepperdine.

McCutcheon scored 12 points--seven in the closing minutes after Bulldog Coach Joe Vaughan cleared his bench--and was four of 21 from the field.

Antelope Valley (26-4) didn't look intimidated and stuck with the Bulldogs through most of the first half.

Buena led, 25-20, before closing the first half with an 8-2 run, then started the third quarter with 17 consecutive points for a 50-22 runaway.

Shaquina Mosley came off the Antelope Valley bench to score 22 points, but 15 came after Buena's third-quarter explosion.

The Bulldogs, who entered last season ranked No. 7 in the nation before being surprised by Cerritos in the quarterfinals, weren't about to let it happen again.

Especially seniors Greathouse, Sargent, Young and Tiana Hatter, who hope to avoid becoming the first graduating class at Buena to never reach a final since 1977.

The recent failures help motivate the Bulldogs.

"We still think we have to prove ourselves," LaVere said. "People doubt how good we are."

Not Antelope Valley.

"No team is perfect," McCutcheon said. "But we needed to play a perfect game and we didn't."

The Golden League-champion Antelopes were out-sized, outmanned and outclassed. But that's the story with every team that has faced the Bulldogs, the consensus No. 1 team in the nation.

Antelope Valley was outscored by more points that in its previous three losses combined.

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