SOUTHERN REGIONAL BASKETBALL PLAYOFFS : Favorites? Point Loma Is Not Looking Past Kennedy

Some may think the Point Loma High School girls' basketball team virtually wrapped up a third straight state championship Tuesday night by defeating Brea-Olinda, 59-35, in the first round of the Division I Southern Regional playoffs.

And Coach Lee Trepanier appreciates the respect for his team, but he also realizes the Pointers have a ways to go before making such claims. He expects the Pointers (28-1) to have a tough time at 7:30 tonight against Kennedy High of Granada Hills in a Southern Regional semifinal game at Granada Hills High School.

"It's nice people think we're so good, but favorites?" Trepanier said. "They're nuts. There is no favorite at this point in the playoffs. We may be ranked higher than any of the other teams, but that doesn't mean anything. The only thing that counts is being state champions when it's over.

"I don't know anything about Kennedy, but any team that wins the 4-A (Los Angeles) city championship has to be good. And Lynwood (which will play Delano in the other semifinal game) beat Muir, so you know they're good."

Muir beat Point Loma in December, the Pointers' only loss in the past three seasons. But Muir was upset by Lynwood, 54-52, in double overtime last Friday in the Southern Section 4-A championship game.

"That game proves that anything can happen," Trepanier said. "We're not overconfident and we're not looking past anybody."

Kennedy (22-2) is led by Stacy Parson, a 5-foot 8-inch senior guard who is averaging 22.1 points and 11 rebounds per game, and Diane DeCree, a 6-1 junior forward who is the younger sister of Toya DeCree, the United States International University women's team scoring leader.

"Stacy's one of the top players in the state," Coach Craig Raub said. "She's a tremendous outside shooter and she knows how to create shots for herself. She also plays good defense and is an excellent rebounder. And I think Diane is going to be the best of the DeCree sisters by the time she's finished.

"I think we might have an edge over them in guards, but their front line is bigger than ours and could give us problems."

The Pointers, with a front line of Jessica Benton (6-4), Terri Mann (6-2) and Michelle Collum (6-0), outrebounded Brea-Olinda, 42-20, Tuesday. And Brea-Olinda has a bigger team than Kennedy.

The semifinal winners will meet for the Southern Regional championship Saturday at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.

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