The Sunset League girls' basketball race had the chance Tuesday to become a wide-open affair. With the first-half of league play coming to an end, the outcome of one game on Tuesday's schedule, Huntington Beach at Los Alamitos, determined which team, or teams, would be in the league lead.
Turns out, that lead still belongs to Huntington.
The Oilers gained further distance between the rest of their Sunset foes as they scored an important, 53-43, victory over the Griffins. The win capped a 5-0 run during the first-half of league action, and put the Oilers, ranked fourth in CIF Southern Section Division 1A, at 18-2 overall.
Los Al, which had an opportunity to climb into a first-place tie with Huntington with a win Tuesday, fell to 3-2 in league and shares second place with Marina.
Huntington trailed, 10-9, after one quarter but came back to take a four-point lead (22-18) at halftime.
The Oilers never trailed after the opening quarter and went on to record what Coach Russ McClurg said was a "hard-fought victory."
Senior guard Stephanie Louie hit a trio of three-point shots and led Huntington in scoring with 14 points. Sophomore guard Sammy Gray scored 13 points and collected 10 rebounds in a key performance, and freshman forward Frankie Wade-Sanchez scored 10 points.
"I feel very proud of the girls for going 5-0 in the first half [of league]," McClurg said. "They really stepped up on the road Tuesday in a hard-fought game.
"his team is so well-balanced and it was nice to see other girls stepping up in key situations. Sammy Gray, who didn't play last season due to an ACL (injury), is really coming along."
•Marina moved into a tie with Los Alamitos for second place in the Sunset standings after cruising past visiting Newport Harbor, 59-34. Senior guard Melissa Lindquist had 14 points and three assists, senior guards Madison Yutkins and Danielle Kennedy scored 13 and 12 points, respectively, and senior forward Natasha Mangham had nine points and 10 rebounds.
The Vikings are 3-2 in league and 12-9 overall.
"This game was about working together and it was good to see everyone play and contribute to the win," Marina Coach Carol Osbrink said of her team, which is ranked 15th in CIF Southern Section Division 2AA.
•Edison and Fountain Valley both are 2-3 in the Sunset League after the Chargers downed the visiting Barons Tuesday, 64-45. Senior forward Loli Gomez scored 17 points to go with nine assists and six rebounds, and junior point guard Marlies De Jong scored eight points with 15 rebounds and was a "beast on the boards," Edison Coach Dan Wiley said.
Junior guard Ari Jacobsen was four of seven from three-point range and led Fountain Valley (9-12 overall) with 19 points. Senior post Emily Krause had eight points and nine rebounds, sophomore post Mikaila Pacis five points and eight rebounds, and junior guard Michelle Wu eight points and four steals.
"Edison's bench came in the second quarter with a ton of energy and we couldn't keep up with them," Fountain Valley Coach Cory Clarke said. "They torched us in transition and beat us on the boards. They kept us off-balance all game with their defense and we could not get anything to go in around the basket."
Edison stepped away from Sunset play Saturday to compete at the Orange County/San Diego Showcase at Santa Margarita High. The Chargers won their game, 70-58, over Horizon Christian Academy of San Diego. Gomez had 15 points and sophomore forward Justine Modde and sophomore point guard Jasmyn Winters had 14 points apiece.
•Ocean View stayed within striking distance of the Golden West League lead Tuesday by jumping on visiting Orange in the opening quarter which led to an eventual, 35-27 victory. Sophomore forward Treasure Robinson led the scoring with 12 points, junior guard Savanna Schroeder had eight points, and sophomore forward Madisyn Newberry had 12 rebounds for the Seahawks.
The Seahawks (No. 10, CIF Southern Section Division 3A) improved to 4-1 in league, good for second place behind Westminster (5-0), and 14-6 overall.
In a Jan. 23 battle for the early lead in the Golden West League race, Ocean View fell, 48-40, at Westminster (No. 15, Division 1A). Sophomore guard Danelle Almiranez scored 15 points and Robinson had 13 points for the Seahawks.
Sunset League games on tap for 7 p.m. Thursday includes Marina at Edison, Fountain Valley hosting Los Alamitos, and Huntington Beach traveling to Newport Harbor. In Golden West League action at 7 p.m. Thursday, Ocean View is on the road at Loara.
CIF Weekly Rankings
Girls Basketball: Huntington Beach (No. 4, Division 1A); Marina (No. 15, Division 2AA); Ocean View (No. 10, Division 3A).