Orange County teams are involved in 26 Southern Section girls' basketball playoff games tonight. All games are scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.
Newhall Hart (21-5) at Fountain Valley (20-6)--This is one of only four Southern Section games that features two 20-game winners. Fountain Valley has won 14 of its last 16 games behind the play of Nicole Strange (14.4 points, 10 rebounds), Jennifer Ludwicki (18.3 points) and point guard Erin Avila (10.1 points); its first-round bye also allowed center Heather Basco a chance to recover from the flu. The third-seeded Barons should be battle-tested for the I-A playoffs after winning nine of 10 Sunset League games.
Marina (19-6) at San Clemente (17-10)--San Clemente played its best game of the year in a nonleague victory over Marina at midseason, overcoming a 12-point deficit, taking a 20-point fourth-quarter lead, and winning, 61-51. The circumstances are similar in this II-AA clash--Marina, led by Shandy Robbins (19 points, 11 rebounds), is playing well, and the game is again at San Clemente--but there are three notable differences: There's more at stake, San Clemente is playing better and isn't missing a starter.
Troy (18-6) at Western (12-9)--Troy shared the Freeway League title and boasts 6-foot-3 Jennie Gadd (18.2 points, 9.4 rebounds), but second-place Western--which played in the shadow of Brea Olinda--gets the III-A home game, and that helps Adrienne Ratajczak (14.6 points) and Jennifer Christensen (14.5 points).
Rosary (16-5) at Inglewood Morningside (17-6)--The upset special in the division could come from the Royals, who are led by Kathleen Celio (20.8 points, 13.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists) and are one of Division III-A's highest-scoring teams--averaging 70 points.
Sun Valley Village Christian (19-4) at Whittier Christian (18-7)--The Heralds can strike a blow for the little guy if they can take down third-seeded Village Christian, which opened the IV-A playoffs with a 119-16--that's a 103-point --victory over Huntington Park St. Matthias. Alana Kempton (19 points) and Kim Menke (11 points) will be central figures in Whittier Christian's upset hopes.
Liberty Christian (11-11) at Rio Hondo Prep (13-11)--Liberty Christian provided a bit of an V-A upset by beating a Mesrobian team that had an 11-5 record; now it plays another team in the same boat: Rio Hondo upset Ribet Academy, which was 14-7.