They Are Ready for Round 2 Saturday
The biggest game in Southland girls’ basketball this season will be played Saturday night in Orange County when Harbor City Narbonne plays at Brea Olinda.
Narbonne, ranked No. 1 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports, won the City Section 4-A and state Division I championships last season, but was stripped of both titles for using ineligible players.
Brea Olinda, ranked fourth in the state, is the defending Division II state champion.
Saturday’s game will be the teams’ second meeting of the season. Narbonne defeated Brea Olinda, 50-48, at the Santa Barbara tournament in December. Narbonne led by 14 points at halftime, but Brea Olinda came back and was ahead by eight points in the fourth quarter.
Narbonne forward Ebony Hoffman, one of the top juniors in the nation, scored with five seconds left to give Narbonne its winning margin.
Hoffman, senior guard Jessica Cheeks and sophomore guard Lorie Moore lead a Narbonne team that is 15-2 but is not eligible for the City or state playoffs this season.
Brea Olinda (14-3) is led by junior forward Chelsea Trotter.
“To have beaten them once already takes a lot of pressure off us,” Narbonne Coach James Anderson said. “People have been talking about this game for a long time. Right now, we have the edge. But with them playing at home in front of a lot of people, it ought to be a great game and a great showcase for girls’ basketball.”
Trotter, averaging 20 points and 11 rebounds, is looking forward to the rematch.
“You left that game in Santa Barbara feeling it was unfinished,” she said. “Just two more seconds and we would have pulled it out. We should have won. It makes you so angry.”
Staff writer Martin Henderson contributed to this story.