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Amat’s Girls Defeat Redondo

From Times Staff Reports

Sophomore Kristen McCarthy scored 20 points as La Puente Bishop Amat won the Chino Hills Ayala Best of the West tournament Friday for the third year in a row.

The Lancers, ranked third in the Southland by The Times, defeated No. 7 Redondo, 60-49, in a game that pitted two Southern Section champions from last season against each other.

“We’re playing really good team basketball right now,” McCarthy said after Bishop Amat (16-1) won for the 51st time in 52 games.

McCarthy scored 12 in the first half, including a layup with two seconds left to tie the score at 24-24 after trailing, 24-15, with 2 minutes 33 seconds remaining.

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“It was a great team effort, but [McCarthy] was spectacular on offense and defense,” said Bishop Amat Coach Richard Wiard.

The score was tied with 2:38 left in the third quarter, 36-36, before the Lancers reeled off nine in a row and 13 of the next 15 points to put the game out of reach.

They made 15 of 20 from the field as their superior depth wore down Redondo (12-2), which will lose only one player from this season’s nine-player squad.

Candice Brown, the tournament MVP, had 12 points and nine rebounds, and Juanise Cornell scored 11, all in the second half.

Courtney Price scored 15 for Redondo, and Atonye Nyingifa added 13 with 11 rebounds.

-- Martin Henderson

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Rhaya Neabors led a balanced attack with 14 points and eight rebounds and Fullerton Troy won the Santee Santana tournament with a 55-40 victory over Spring Valley Mt. Miguel in a rematch of last season’s Southern California Regional Division II championship game. Melanie Ysaguirre had 13 points for Troy, the defending state champion and No. 1-ranked team in the Southland.

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Sami Whitcomb scored 22 points and had 13 rebounds to help No. 20 Ventura Buena (12-3) hand Miami Jackson its first loss in 13 games this season and claim the Pinecrest (Fla.) Miami Palmetto tournament championship with a 38-31 victory. Whitcomb was selected most valuable player and teammate Amelia Mathis was selected to the all-tournament team.

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Long Beach Poly came within five seconds of beating Oregon City (10-0) in the championship game of the Gillette (Wyo.) Campbell County tournament, but Kristin Zimel made two free throws with 4.9 seconds left to provide the winning margin in a 50-49 victory over the Jackrabbits. Jasmine Dixon scored 17 points to lead Poly (10-3), which is ranked No. 2 in the Southland.

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Boys’ Basketball

Lakewood Artesia, ranked No. 1 in the Southland by The Times, lost to Cincinnati Hughes Center, 59-48, in the championship game of the Lewes (Del.) Cape Henlopen tournament.

All-tournament selection Malik Story led Artesia (12-1) with 14 points. Teammates James Harden and Derek Glasser, who were also all-tournament selections, each added 12 points.

Two other ranked Southland teams, No. 2 L.A. Fairfax and No. 4 Westchester, also fell in championship games. Fairfax (9-2) lost, 75-48, to Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill Academy in the final of the Houston tournament and Westchester (11-2) dropped a 66-60 decision to Reserve (La.) Reserve Christian in the final of the Hillsboro (Ore.) Liberty tournament.

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Football

The seventh CaliFlorida Bowl will begin at 3 p.m. today at Cal State Fullerton. The late Drean Rucker, an All-American linebacker while at Moreno Valley Canyon Springs High, will be honored in a pregame ceremony.

Rucker, who drowned in July 2003 after getting caught in a rip current in the surf at Huntington Beach, had committed to USC.

The pregame ceremony will include his father, Andre Rucker, and brother, Taurean Drucker, who is in 10th grade at San Bernardino Arroyo Valley. Rucker’s uniform will be enshrined in the Newport Beach Sports Museum.

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General admission is $10.

-- Dan Loumena


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