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Brea-Olinda Girls Basketball Tournament : Easterly Leads Katella to Victory in Overtime

Times Staff Writer

The Katella High School girls’ basketball team went scoreless for the first 6 minutes of the fourth quarter in its semifinal-round game against Gahr in the Brea-Olinda tournament.

And Katella still managed to win, 46-45, in overtime.

Katella guard Joni Easterly had a game-high 25 points, including a baseline jumper with 2 seconds left that sent the game into overtime tied, 43-43. Easterly had all 10 points in the fourth quarter as the Knights (7-0) rallied from a 41-33 fourth-quarter deficit.

Until she made a jumper with 1:42 left, Katella had gone scoreless in the fourth quarter. She’s the main reason Katella will play Brea-Olinda for the tournament title tonight at 7:30.

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Angie Gomez, Katella point guard, is another reason the Knights remain undefeated.

Gomez had just 5 points, but her free throw with 13 seconds left proved to be the difference. She missed the second of her two shots, but Gahr fumbled the rebound out of bounds and Katella ran out the clock.

Barb Bausch, Katella coach, said she never gave up hope that the Knights would somehow pull out a victory.

“The girls played a little hesitant, but we knew we could do it,” Bausch said. “I was 99% sure we’d win after Joni hit that shot and sent it to overtime.”

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Katella trailed at halftime, 25-22, and, 37-33, at the end of three quarters. But as the fourth quarter began, the Knights seemed to be out of gas.

Luckily for Katella, though, Gahr was unable to pull far enough away. The Gladiators (3-1) led, 41-33, but Easterly took control.

She made a twisting layup, was fouled and hit the free throw with 1:42 left, cutting the lead to 41-36. She came back with a jumper and it was 41-38.

Gahr’s Sheveta Collins scored on a lay-in, but Easterly countered with a 3-pointer and Katella trailed only 43-41. The Knights got the ball back one last time and Easterly went coast-to-coast, pulled up along the baseline and sank a 10-foot jumper.

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In overtime, Easterly and April Garnett, who led Gahr with 12 points, matched baskets, setting the stage for Gomez’s free throw.

Katella center Wendy Carlson added 9 points, despite being, as Bausch put it, “deathly ill.”

“This wasn’t our best game,” Bausch said. “But if we came out and still won. I think it means we’re going to be tough this season.”

In the other semifinal:

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Brea-Olinda 60, Esperanza 47--Brea led, 21-5, at the end of the first quarter and coasted to the victory. Esperanza managed to cut the lead to 8 points late in the third quarter, but Brea pulled away again in the fourth quarter.

Brea center Jinelle Williams had 16 points as four of the Wildcats’ starters scored in double figures. Tammy Blackburn had 11 and Jody Anton and Aimee McDaniel added 10 apiece for the Wildcats (7-0).

Jennifer Harney scored 21 points to lead Esperanza (2-3). The Aztecs play Gahr for third place tonight at 6.


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