Chanelle McCoy found herself in an unfamiliar position Tuesday night at the start of the girls' Division I Southern Regional playoff game between Point Loma and Brea-Olinda at Peterson Gym.
McCoy usually starts at point guard for Point Loma. Not this time. Instead, she found herself sitting on the bench, having incurred the wrath of Coach Lee Trepanier.
In the end, the discipline turned out to do McCoy and the Pointers a world of good. Once she entered the game, McCoy led the two-time defending champions to an easy 59-35 win over Brea-Olinda, the Southern Section champions. Point Loma (28-1) plays Kennedy High in the semifinals Thursday at Granada Hills.
McCoy, the smallest but quickest of the Pointers at 5-2, was sent into the game three minutes into the first quarter with Brea-Olinda ahead, 6-2. By the end of the period, Point Loma led, 15-9.
McCoy then scored 10 of her game-high 18 points and handed out a couple of assists in the second quarter as the Pointers built a 35-17 halftime lead.
"She was the difference," Trepanier said. "She ignited us, she got the game turned around.
"She didn't start because she hadn't been putting out in practice," he explained. "The freshman (Monica Filer, who started in her place) had been working very hard. She deserved to start."
McCoy also did a tremendous job defending Brea-Olinda's Charlene Schuessler.
"That girl (Schuessler) had something like 23 points against us when we played them in December," Trepanier said. "But Chanelle really shut her down this time and that helped. She just had a great, all-around game.
"She knew why we wasn't starting, but she was really revved up when she got in there."
Good teams seem to bring out the best in McCoy. She scored 25 when the Pointers beat Brea-Olinda, 68-50, in Santa Barbara's Tournament of Champions.
"I play better when there's more competition," McCoy said. "I was ready when I finally got to go in. We know there are only good teams left now that we're in the playoffs and we know we have to play our best or we could get knocked off."
Point Loma forward Terri Mann dominated the inside with 14 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
Forward Michelle Collum added 15 points and 8 rebounds. Center Jessica Benton had four points and seven rebounds.
The Pointers outrebouded Brea-Olinda, 42-20. Offensively, Brea shot a dismal 24.5% (12 of 49) from the field. Pt. Loma shot 42.4% (28 of 66).
Point Loma forced 23 turnovers by Brea (27-4).
Carrie Egan, Brea's leading scorer throughout the regular season, led her team with 13 points. She was the only Wildcat in double figures.
After the game Trepanier told his team, the two-time defending state champions, "You keep playing like that and you're going to win the state championship."