Two of the top three seeded teams in the Southern Section 4-A girls' basketball playoffs come to Orange County tonight.
Morningside, the top-seeded team with a 26-1 record, plays at Huntington Beach, and third-seeded Lynwood (25-3) plays Mater Dei (20-6) at Rancho Santiago College. All second-round games start at 7:30.
Morningside and Lynwood figure to meet for the 4-A championship March 4 at Cal Poly Pomona. The teams split two meetings earlier this season.
Morningside beat Lynwood in the championship of the Artesia tournament in early December. Later in the month, Lynwood knocked off Morningside in the Morningside tournament final.
Huntington Beach (16-8) is led by point guard Stefanie Pemper and Tami Chick, a high-scoring forward. Pemper was second in the county in assists with 7.2 a game. Chick averages 16.6 points.
Morningside counters with Shaunda Greene, a 6-foot senior forward, and Lisa Leslie, a 6-4 sophomore center. Greene averages 26.1 points and Leslie adds 23 points and 13.2 rebounds.
Mater Dei (20-6) is paced by the front line of Claudia Morris, Cori Martin and Kelly O'Brien. Lynwood has one of the top guards in the Southern Section in 5-8 Trise Jackson, who has signed a letter of intent with Cal State Long Beach.
In other 4-A games:
Fountain Valley (17-11), the surprising winner of the Sunset League, plays at Thousand Oaks (24-3). Marina (21-5), which had a come-from-behind 51-50 victory over Muir in the opening round, plays at Lakewood (19-6).
In the 3-A:
Losses by the second- through fourth-seeded teams in the opening round figure to give top-seeded Brea-Olinda an easy path to the championship game. Brea-Olinda (26-1) is at North Torrance (16-8). Aimee McDaniel, a sophomore guard, had 32 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists in a 79-38 opening-round victory over Tustin.
Katella (17-8), last season's runner-up, plays at Capistrano Valley (19-6).
Wild-card entrant Esperanza (15-12), which upset third-seeded Mission Viejo in the first round, plays host to Palos Verdes (20-8).
Alemany (21-3) is at El Toro (22-5). El Toro has been bolstered by the return of center Andrea Young, who missed most of the season with a stress fracture. However, Elaine Youngs, a Times' all-county performer, is still recovering from a sprained ankle and will miss tonight's game.
In the 2-A:
Top-seeded La Quinta (22-3) plays at St. Mary's (17-8). La Habra (18-6) plays host to Woodbridge (22-5), and Fullerton (14-7), led by Sabryna Welch, plays host to Chino (19-6).
Welch, a senior post player, averages 17.7 points and 15.4 rebounds.
In Small Schools:
Liberty Christian (18-1), the second-seeded team, plays at Hemet Baptist Christian (18-5). Liberty Christian is led by point guard Sharon Crouch and forward Lisa Whitney, the county's leading rebounder with 18.9 a game.