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Bell-Jeff not ready to panic

Jim Riggio

There is good news for the Bellarmine-Jefferson High girls’

basketball team.

Although it lost to L.A. Marlborough School on Saturday night,


55-45, the Guards still have a chance to win the Sunshine League

title outright.

“We still have an opportunity Saturday night,” Bell-Jeff Coach

Bryan Camacho said of the Guards’ next encounter with the Mustangs.


“We can learn from this and come back next Saturday night.”

Marlborough (11-4, 3-1 in league) forfeited a league win to L.A.

Marymount when it used a junior varsity player in both junior varsity

and varsity contests on the same day, a violation of CIF Southern

Section rules.

The third-ranked team in CIF Southern Section Division IVAA had

trouble with the Guards (14-3, 5-1) early on, as Bell-Jeff led, 7-6,

at the end of the first quarter.


But Marlborough came back, led by its leader -- senior Shaina

Zaidi -- who played her freshman year at Burroughs High and has

signed with UCLA.

Zaidi, who scored just two points in the first quarter, scored

nine in the second, as the Mustangs turned things around to lead,

24-14, at halftime.

Bell-Jeff made just one of seven field goals in the second



The Guards fought back in the third quarter, and made things

interesting, cutting the lead to five points.

Zaidi’s three-pointer with two seconds left in the third was a key

play, as it pushed Marlborough back to a 10-point lead going into the

final quarter.

But the Guards did not back down.

Andrea Morgan’s basket with 4:29 left cut the Mustangs’ lead to


However, Bell-Jeff could climb all the way back, even though it

had a chance to tie the game with 3:50 left when Kelly Hobbs missed a

pair of free throws.

Marlborough’s Kerry Madison’s jumper with 2:27 left make it 47-43,

as the Mustangs went more than four-and-a-half minutes without


In the final minutes, Zaidi’s shooting, along with the rebounding

of center Abi Olajuwon (10 rebounds) proved to be too much for the


“They brought everything we wanted,” Marlborough Coach George

Quintero said. “In our league, you’re not getting the close games, so

to come here, this is what it’s all about. It’s great to have

Bell-Jeff in our league. Coach Camacho has great kids and a great



Marlborough 6 18 19

12 -- 55

Bell-Jeff 7 7 19

12 -- 45


Zaidi 24, Tay 17, Murrow 4, Madison 2, Olajuwon 6 and 10

rebounds, Amon 2.

* Three-pointers: Zaidi.


Peoples 12, 9 rebounds and 4 steals, J. Van Dyke 10,

Morgan 8, Hobbs 6, Coronado 2, Napolitano 7.

* Three-pointers: J. Van Dyke 2.