Four local girls' basketball teams have aspirations of playing for a championship. Each will take its initial step into the postseason and toward that goal when CIF Southern Section first-round games begin Thursday and Saturday.
•Ocean View gets the locals off and running Thursday. The Seahawks, the No. 2 team from the Golden West League and tournament's No. 12 seed, play host to Pomona (Valle Vista League No. 3) in a first-round Division 3A game at 7 p.m. A second-round date Saturday awaits either the Seahawks or Red Devils.
Ocean View ended its league and regular season Feb. 13 at Orange, and had four players foul out during a 51-39 loss to the Panthers. The Seahawks closed out a 7-3 league season and bring an overall mark of 17-8 in Thursday's playoff opener with Pomona (9-10 overall).
"If we learn from our losses this season, we may have a real shot at a legit CIF run," Ocean View Coach Kim Morris said.
The Pomona-Ocean View winner will face either No. 5-seed Estancia (OCL No. 1) or Gladstone (Montview League at-large) in a second-round game at 7 p.m. Saturday. The 3A Division quarterfinals are 7 p.m. next Wednesday.
Saturday features first-round games for three other local teams, each from the Sunset League: Huntington Beach, Marina and Edison.
•Sunset League champion Huntington Beach is the No. 3 seed in the Division 1A tournament. The Oilers played host to Montebello (Almont League No. 3) at 7 p.m.
Huntington turned in an undefeated run through the Sunset League and capped its league season Feb. 13 with a 51-45 win over visiting Los Alamitos. Senior guard Stephanie Louie scored 12 points and senior guard Paola Roa and sophomore guard Sammy Gray both scored 10 points.
Huntington went 10-0 in league play and 23-2 in its first 25 games of the season.
"Going undefeated is a tremendous accomplishment in the Sunset League," McClurg said. "I know that was one of the goals for the girls this year and glad they were able to get it done. This was a very special group of girls and a great privilege to coach."
Now comes postseason play. The Oilers open against a Montebello team that is 15-9 overall.
"I feel very confident that we should win against Montebello," Huntington Coach Russ McClurg said. "We are battling some injuries but my hope is we will be healthy by Saturday. The girls are excited and ready to play."
The Montebello-Huntington winner advances to face either No. 14-seed Westminster (Golden West League champion) or Placentia Valencia (Empire League No. 3) in a second-round game at 7 p.m. next Wednesday.
•A veteran Marina team, which tied with Los Alamitos for second place in the Sunset League, is the No. 15 seed in the 2AA tournament. The Vikings play host to La Palma Kennedy (Empire League No. 4) at 7 p.m. Saturday. The winner moves on to face either No. 2-seed Foothill (Century League No. 3) or Arroyo (Mission Valley League No. 3) in a 7 p.m. second-round game on Wednesday.
The Fighting Irish are 14-14 overall.
"Kennedy is a very well-coached team that plays hard from buzzer to buzzer," Marina Coach Carol Osbrink said. "They play tough man-to-man defense and are very physical. I think we match up very well against them, and I am confident that if we bring our 'A' game, we can beat them."
Marina ended its league season Feb. 13 and defeated Newport Harbor, 51-38. Senior guard Madison Yutkins scored a game-high 17 points, senior guard Danielle Kennedy scored 16 points and added four steals and four assists, senior forward Natasha Mangham scored six points, had 12 rebounds and five steals, and senior guard Melissa Lindquist had eight rebounds, six steals, and five assists, for the Vikings.
Marina finished league play with a 6-4 record, and takes an overall record of 15-11 into the playoffs.
•Edison received an at-large bid out of the Sunset League and will open Division 1AA playoff action at 7 p.m. Saturday at No.13 seed and South Coast League champion San Clemente (17-8). The winner advances to a 7 p.m. second-round game on Wednesday against either No. 4-seeded Great Oak (Southwestern League No. 2) or Downey (San Gabriel League No. 3).
The Chargers head into the postseason with an overall record of 14-11. They went 5-5 in league play, good for fourth place, and completed league action Feb. 13 with a 67-52 win over Fountain Valley. Sophomore point guard Jasmyn Winters scored 12 points, two coming on a three-point, buzzer-beating shot from beyond midcourt at the end of the first half, and also had five assists and five rebounds.
Senior guard Loli Gomez scored 17 points to go with five rebounds and four assists, and sophomore forward Justine Modde had 16 points and eight rebounds, for the Chargers.