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Foul trouble sinks Brea in Division II

March 24, 2007|Dan Arritt; Eric Sondheimer | From Times Staff Reports

SACRAMENTO — When members of the Brea Olinda girls' basketball team reflect on their appearance in the Division II state championship game, the third quarter will probably stick in their minds.

Even though that probably will be the stretch they'd rather forget.

The Ladycats, winners of a record eight state titles, fell into severe foul trouble early in the third quarter, when their six-point halftime lead quickly became a six-point deficit.

San Jose Mitty didn't let the momentum slip away down the stretch, winning the program's third state title with a 54-49 victory at Arco Arena.

Jeanette Pohlen, the Stanford-bound guard, had 21 points and 11 rebounds in her final game for Brea, but she picked up her second, third and fourth fouls in the first 2 minutes 15 seconds of the third quarter.

She went to the bench about 40 seconds later, just after teammate Lauren Bell was called for her fourth foul. Starting guard Kelsey Harris got her fourth with four minutes left in the quarter. By the end of the third quarter, Brea had been called for 10 team fouls and Mitty none.

"We got rattled, clearly, when we got into foul trouble," Brea Coach Jeff Sink said.

Brea, which last played in a state final in 2000, climbed back to within three points with 22.1 seconds left to play, then stole the inbounds pass, but missed two close shots from the field.

Mitty's Kasandra McCalister then missed two free throws, but Jonae Ervin's three-point attempt with about six seconds left was short and Pohlen missed a putback. Danielle Robinson then secured the victory with two more free throws, giving the Oklahoma-bound guard a game-high 22 points.

Pohlen, who came in averaging 22.7 points, was the only Brea player to score in double figures.

-- Dan Arritt

Ross Branson 51, Los Angeles Pacific Hills 36 -- Failing to make a shot in the final 9:54 of the first half, Pacific Hills never recovered and was beaten for the third consecutive year in the state Division V final.

The Bilney twins, 5-10 Rachael and 5-11 Sam, scored 14 and 12 points as Branson (33-3) won its 31st consecutive game and became the first school since Torrance Bishop Montgomery in 2001 to win the boys' and girls' titles in the same year.

Pacific Hills (30-6) missed all eight of its shots in the second quarter and fell behind, 20-11, at halftime.

Branson then got hot from three-point range, making three in a row in the third quarter to open a 35-14 lead.

Ariel Dale scored 11 points and Bree Richardson had 10 to lead Pacific Hills, which made only 13 of 41 shots from the field.

-- Eric Sondheimer

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