Whenever the Ventura Buena girls' basketball team needed Sami Whitcomb, it seemed the Bulldogs always found her.
Underneath the basket, right where she usually can be found.
"She's a real gym rat and just loves to play," Buena Coach Joe Vaughan said. "She does a lot of things and is always working hard to get better."
Whitcomb's efforts paid off Saturday night as the Bulldogs, ranked No. 10 in the Southland by The Times, upset No. 4 Fullerton Rosary, 63-54, in a nonleague game at Buena. The 5-foot-11 junior had 22 points and 10 rebounds.
"We wanted to prove to ourselves that we could beat a good team like this," said Whitcomb, a three-year starter.
Whitcomb had a big hand in much of the Royals' difficulty, scoring nine points in the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs (15-5) took control of a game in which Rosary led only once but stayed within five points until the final three minutes.
"That No. 32 [Whitcomb] is very talented and in the end it just didn't fall for us," Rosary point guard Karina Figueroa said.
The victory offset some losses the Bulldogs have suffered this season. Buena has lost to No. 5 Ventura, its Channel League rival, three times this season, including a 48-45 setback on Wednesday. The Bulldogs lost in the third-place game of the Sweet South Classic in Madison, Ga., to Dorman (S.C.).
"At this point we needed to beat a quality team and we did that tonight," said Vaughan.
Rosary (16-3), which had lost to No. 3 Fullerton Troy and No. 2 Norco, got 22 points, seven steals and six assists from Figueroa. The rest of the Royals struggled with Buena's defensive pressure and two players -- Teresa Karcher and Amy Richard -- fouled out in the final minutes.
Santa Fe Springs Santa Fe will forfeit seven games and Hawthorne will forfeit five games for using ineligible players, according to Southern Section spokesman Thom Simmons.
Santa Fe will forfeit nonleague games against Anaheim, Bell Gardens, Rolling Hills Prep, Las Vegas, Las Vegas Cheyenne and Las Vegas Coronado and a Del Rio League game against Whittier California. The Chiefs, two-time defending league champions, fall to 7-15 overall and 4-2 in league.
Hawthorne will forfeit nonleague games against Lawndale, Malibu, Los Angeles Garfield and Pasadena La Salle and an Ocean League game against Culver City. The Cougars fall to 1-11 and 1-5.