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Sailors Earn Another Shot at Brea-Olinda

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

First the good news: The Newport Harbor girls’ basketball team has earned a spot in the Southern California Regional Division III championship game.

The bonus prize? The Sailors get to face top-seeded Brea-Olinda, the same team that beat them by 30 in last week’s Southern Section Division III-AA title game.

Newport Harbor paced by 16 points and 11 rebounds by senior guard Gina Heads, never trailed Thursday as the Sailors knocked off San Diego Section champion and second-seeded Santee Santana, 61-53.

“That’s not bad news, that’s fantastic news,” Newport Harbor Coach Shannon Jakosky said, referring to the Sailors’ rematch with Brea-Olinda at Anaheim Arena at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

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“When we played them in the finals last week, we came out and lost the game in the first three minutes. Our whole goal was to get back to The Pond. Now we’ve done that. Our kids are just thrilled to get to play Brea-Olinda again.”

The rematch was made possible by the Sailors’ stingy man-to-man defense, which limited Santana, San Diego County’s top three-point shooting team, to just one three-point field goal. Cathy Bass, the leading three-point shooter in the San Diego Section, missed all eight of her three-point shots.

“Our main goal was to stay on top of their three-point shooters,” said Heads, who had 14 points at halftime. “We knew that was their main game plan. But coming from Orange County, we’re used to playing a lot of man-to-man defense. We were able to shut them down.”

Newport Harbor (24-7), which scored just two points in the first quarter against Brea-Olinda, led 20-12 after one quarter.


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