GIRLS' BASKETBALL / WOODBRIDGE TIP-OFF CLASSIC : Woodbridge Survives Edison's Tough Challenge

TIMES STAFF WRITER

It's only the second week of the girls' basketball season, but Woodbridge is beginning to understand what Brea Olinda learned a long time ago.

When you're the defending state champion and expected to repeat, everybody wants a piece of you. And even if they don't play their best game, your opponent will play its most intense game.

Fourth-ranked Edison covered the county's top-ranked team like a tarp for most of the championship game of the Woodbridge Tipoff Classic tournament. In the end, however, the Warriors' experience and stronger inside game was the difference in Woodbridge (4-0) grinding out a 47-43 victory.

Melanie Pearson and Krissy Duperron combined for 28 points to offset the hot hand of Edison's Marie Philman, who led all scorers with 23. Pearson had 15 before fouling out, but she had the game's critical play; a three-pointer to break a 43-43 tie with 2 minutes 5 seconds to play.

"I thought we were tight and nervous in the first half, and then loosened up," Woodbridge Coach Patrick Quinn said. "I can see we're still thinking out there; the team is still unsure what I want them to do and when I want them to do it. But it is a veteran team and it will smooth itself out."

Edison Coach Dave White, whose team took a 35-32 lead with an 11-2 spurt in the third quarter but then played catch-up, knew the Chargers (4-1) had missed a great chance at an upset.

"But we didn't play our best game and stayed close to them," White said. "We're capable of doing better and that excites me. We're going to be all right."

Pearson was named the tournament's most valuable player.

In other tournament games:

Fountain Valley 53, Cerritos Gahr 26--Senior forward Nicole Strange scored 17 points and Fountain Valley beat Gahr to take third place. Senior teammate Jennifer Ludwicki, also a forward, scored 15 points for the Barons.

Fountain Valley jumped out to an 11-4 lead after the first quarter. The Barons (5-1) led by 11 at the half.

Jennifer Rizzo scored six points for Fountain Valley.

Costa Mesa 51, Rancho Alamitos 17--Chanel Anderson scored 17 points for Costa Mesa in a consolation game. Cari Howse and Kelli Grondahl each scored six for the Mustangs.

Wendy Lopez had five points for Rancho Alamitos.

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