Judith Smith was late for a Long Beach Poly pregame meeting on Tuesday, and sat out the first quarter of her team's championship game against Redondo, The Times' third-ranked team.
But Smith liked what she saw, then helped the sixth-ranked Jackrabbits beat Redondo, 55-42, to win their second consecutive Ayala Best of the West tournament.
Smith finished with a team-high 13 points and six steals and was named tournament most valuable player after her team beat four teams currently ranked in The Times' top 25 en route to the title.
Poly forced 24 turnovers against Redondo and got impressive performances from Rosalyn Omoruyi, who is 5 feet 9 inches, and Natasha Gray, who is 5-10.
The two were responsible for the post defense against Redondo's 6-3 tandem of Brittany Grice and Chloe Grimm. Grice had 11 points and 11 rebounds, and Grimm scored four points with five rebounds. They had only two offensive rebounds between them.
-- Martin Henderson
Jessica Nguyen, the No. 14-seeded player, upset top-seeded Nicole Leimbach of Colorado Springs, Colo., 6-1, 6-2, in the girls' 18 division semifinals of the U.S. Tennis Assn. Super National Winter Championships in Mesa, Ariz.
Nguyen, who was the City Section singles runner-up as a freshman at Granada Hills in 2001 but did not compete this season, will face No. 3-seeded Andrea Remynse of Battle Creek, Mich., in today's championship match.
In the girls' 18 doubles quarterfinals, fifth-seeded Nguyen and Tracy Lin, an Anaheim Canyon junior who won the 2001 Southern Section singles title, defeated top-seeded Davis and Elizabeth Lumpkin of Naperville, Ill., 7-5, 6-1.
Top-seeded Luke Shields of Grand Junction, Colo., defeated Fullerton Troy senior Jeffrey Das, 7-6 (3), 6-1, in the boys' 18 division semifinals.
-- Lauren Peterson