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ORANGE COUNTY | GIRLS' BASKETBALL DIVISION II REGIONALS

Brea Puts Up Fight Before Losing to Artesia, 46-43

March 09, 2001|DAN ARRITT | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Don't believe everything you read on the Internet.

Brea Olinda was picked to lose by a landslide Thursday night, but the Ladycats nearly turned the tables on Lakewood Artesia in a Southern California Division II Regional semifinal at Cerritos Gahr High.

Brea built a double-digit lead in the first half before the Pioneers finally caught up early in third quarter and won, 46-43.

"Everybody thought we'd lose by 30," said Brea guard Tara Hefferly, the only senior to start against Artesia. "That's what they were saying on the Internet."

The Ladycats (26-5) had plenty of reasons to lose badly.

They were playing their fourth consecutive game without their best player, Jackie Lord, who injured her knee in the Southern Section quarterfinals. Daveri Bonnewitz, a 5-foot-10 post player, missed the playoffs because her knee was too weak to continue. The Ladycats didn't have a player taller than 6 feet.

Artesia was expected to benefit from 6-foot-3 sophomore Lauren Ervin, considered one of the top centers in the country.

But Ervin, who scored 20 points in the Pioneers' victory over Pasadena Muir in the Southern Section Division II-A final last week, was held to seven points against the Ladycats, making only three of 12 shots from the field.

Brittney Thomas, who transferred with Ervin from last season's Torrance Bishop Montgomery's Division III state championship team, picked up the slack for Artesia, scoring 19 points, including five of Artesia's six in the final quarter.

Thomas' five points in the opening minutes helped Artesia to a quick 7-2 lead.

The Ladycats answered with a 15-0 run, highlighted by three three-pointers by Hefferly, and led, 20-10, after one quarter.

Sophomore guard Jennifer Katsuyama also scored nine points for the Ladycats in the opening quarter, but was held scoreless the remainder of the game as Artesia switched from a zone defense to man-to-man in the second quarter.

The Pioneers (32-1) took back the lead, 30-28, on a basket by Cacie Pope early in the third quarter and stretched it to three by the start of the fourth.

The Ladycats cut the lead to 45-43 on Jenny Skrifvars' bank shot with 2:20 left in the game, but turned over the ball on their next possession. Skrifvars then missed a potential tying basket from the top of the key with 55 seconds left.

After Ervin's free throw with 37 seconds left, Brea had two chances to tie, but Katsuyama missed a three-pointer with eight seconds left and Lauren Pedersen couldn't get off a shot at the buzzer.

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