Huntington Beach High’s Russell McClurg is the reigning Daily Pilot Girls’ Basketball Coach of the Year.
After reaching the CIF Southern Section Division 1A final last year, making the playoffs this season may be an equally impressive accomplishment.
The Oilers lost their entire starting five, and more from their bench, but Huntington Beach continues to charge on.
Freshmen Alyssa Real and Meghan McIntyre have been leading the Oilers, who defeated Beckman 35-26 in a nonleague road contest for their fourth straight win on Tuesday night.
Real had 11 points, draining three shots from beyond the arc, while also handing out four assists.
“McIntyre and Real are pretty good freshmen, even in the county,” McClurg said. “They’re freshmen that don’t have any fear.
“We had arguably one of the better point guards in the county come into our school in Alyssa Real.”
Daniella Benabou added eight points, and Marisa Tanga had five points for the Oilers (4-1).
McClurg said he is now just four wins away from 400 in his coaching career, which saw him start at Calvary Chapel in 1994-95 before coming to Huntington Beach in 2003-04.
Huntington Beach enters a 10-day recess in its schedule. When the Oilers return to the court, they will host Esperanza, whom they beat in the Division 1A semifinals last season.
“For me, we need this test,” McClurg said of the impending Esperanza matchup. “Our schedule is so tough that by the time we get to [Sunset League play], we’ll be well battle-tested.”
The Oilers and Aztecs (2-2) will square off on Dec. 15. Esperanza won the regular-season meeting last year, with both games played between the teams taking place at Esperanza.
McClurg has been at Huntington Beach for 15 seasons. In that time frame, the Oilers have never lost to Beckman, going 6-0 against the Patriots (3-2). The teams have played each other in each of the last five years, with the other meeting coming in 2009.
Newport Harbor 49, Santa Ana 44
Lexi Alvarez had 18 points, five rebounds and three assists to lead the Sailors in the Hawk Holiday Classic at Liberty Christian School on Tuesday afternoon.
Freshman forward Willa Rath continues to make a positive impact for Newport Harbor (2-3). She had 12 points and seven rebounds to help the Sailors notch their second straight win.
Chloe Swanson added seven points, nine rebounds and three steals in the victory.
Newport Harbor will face Laguna Hills (3-2) at 3 p.m. on Wednesday as the tournament continues.
Tesoro 62, Edison 50
Finley Garnett had 12 points, 12 rebounds and three assists for the host Chargers on Tuesday.
Gabby Samiy added 12 points behind a trio of three-pointers for Edison (2-3). She also had five steals.
Irene Ontiveros chipped in with a pair of three-pointers.
Edison trailed 36-24 at halftime, and the Chargers did not cut the Titans’ lead to single digits in the second half.