Aimee McDaniel scored 22 points, making nine of 14 field goal attempts, to lead Brea-Olinda High School to an 81-36 Southern California Regional Division III first-round victory over Our Lady of Peace of San Diego Tuesday at Brea.
McDaniel, a junior point guard, scored 17 of her points in the first half as the Wildcats (28-2) used their quickness and height advantage to take a 42-15 halftime lead. Brea-Olinda, which will play Reedley in Thursday’s semifinals, outscored Our Lady of Peace, 25-4, in the third quarter, before Wildcat Coach Mark Trakh brought in his reserves to play the fourth period.
Besides leading the Wildcats in scoring, McDaniel also held the Pilots’ leading scorer, 5-1 point guard Tammy Tavares, to one field goal in three quarters. Tavares, who entered the game averaging 17.7 points, scored five points against the Brea-Olinda reserves in the fourth quarter to finish with seven points.
“I was very happy with the intensity they showed in practice before the game, and that carried over to the court today,” Trakh said. “The kids knew that they (Our Lady of Peace) were only a semifinalist, but that didn’t detract from them playing hard. At this point of the season, you have to continue to set goals and play with high intensity, and we did that tonight.”
“Their point guard (McDaniel) was unbelievable, but all the way around, they beat us,” said Our Lady of Peace Coach Carol Burnett. “They did everything well, but still, I’m proud of my team for getting as far as they did this season.”
Besides having problems guarding McDaniel, the Pilots, whose tallest starter is 5-7, were unable to contain the Wildcats on the boards. Five-foot-10 forward Cindy Gunn, the Wildcats’ only senior starter, scored 12 of her 14 points in the third quarter while 5-10 freshman Jody Anton had eight points and 13 rebounds.
“I expected the game to be a lot closer, but they played us hard all the way,” Anton said. “We didn’t look past them at all.”
Tammy Blackburn, Brea-Olinda’s other starting junior guard, scored six of her 10 points in the first quarter as the Wildcats closed the period with a 19-6 lead. Brea-Olinda, which allowed the game’s first two points 36 seconds into the game, responded by scoring 12 unanswered points in a 4-minute span to take a 12-2 lead.