The center was sidelined with a sprained ankle, the star guards had off nights and the team tried a different game plan. And the Brea-Olinda High School girls' basketball team still won.
The Wildcats, top-ranked in Orange County, showed their depth by beating Orange League rival Valencia, 51-29, Tuesday night at Valencia.
Brea (19-1 overall and 5-0 in league) used a stifling defense and a solid inside game to make up for the absence of starting center Susan Tousey, who sprained her ankle in Saturday's victory over Loara.
Tousey, a 6-foot 3-inch senior, was second-team all-Southern Section last season.
High-scoring guards Aimee McDaniel and Tammy Blackburn scored 11 and 5 points, respectively, but Mark Trakh, Brea coach, had unexpected contributions from three unlikely sources.
Blackburn played with a bad bruise on her leg, Trakh said.
And Brea played an uncharacteristically slow-tempo game.
"We wanted to play ball-control tonight," Trakh said. Then he laughed, acknowledging that slowdown games are not the norm for the Wildcats.
"My idol is (UC Irvine basketball coach) Bill Mulligan," Trakh said. "No defense and run the break."
Cindy Gunn, a junior forward, led Brea with 18 points, 14 of which came in the second half. Gunn also had 12 rebounds. Allison Bickel, a sophomore forward, had 9 points. And, though she had only four points, Tina Chiotti helped the Wildcats control the inside.
"Gunn, Bickel and Chiotti . . . those three kids played super," Trakh.
Early on, Brea had trouble with Valencia's full-court press and the Tigers took a 9-8 first-quarter lead.
The Tigers (13-5, 4-1) got 4 points each from Lauren Rich, who had 9 for the game, and Micah Hagemeister, who had 8, and it appeared Brea was in for a long night.
But Brea outscored Valencia, 15-2, in the second quarter to take a 23-11 halftime lead. The Tigers didn't fade, though, and crept to within 35-26 at the end of the third quarter. But Brea held the Tigers to three points in the fourth.
Magnolia 55, Anaheim 23--Dawne Borum, a senior forward, scored a game-high 25 points to lead host Magnolia (10-9, 3-2).
Savanna 35, Western 29--Karena Lee had 12 points for the Rebels at Western. Western falls to 5-10, 1-4.