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Huntington Beach girls’ basketball starts Surf League with win at Corona del Mar

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Huntington Beach’s Andie Payne dribbles past Corona del Mar’s Makena Tomlinson and scores during a Surf League game on Thursday in Newport Beach.
(Drew A. Kelley)

One of these is not unlike the other.

Nearly a year ago, the Huntington Beach High girls’ basketball team traveled to Corona del Mar with the Surf League championship on the line in the regular-season finale.

The Oilers took care of business that night in notching a 29-point win.

Huntington Beach made the trip over to CdM again on Thursday night, and it proved that it is still the power in the league.

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Madeline Krause had a game-high 13 points to go with four rebounds and three steals, as the Oilers defeated the Sea Kings 47-19 in a Surf League opener.

Huntington Beach suffered a 48-44 loss at Fountain Valley on Jan. 7, one which Oilers coach Russell McClurg viewed as a slice of humble pie for his team.

“Almost a mirror [image] of last year’s game, and we lost [Surf League MVP Meghan]McIntyre to [Long Beach] St. Anthony and had to make quite a few adjustments, lost some good kids,” McClurg said of his team’s performance against CdM. “We played like last year, almost the same thing.

“I think that Fountain Valley loss really put a thorn in our side, and it really motivated us to come out strong in the first game in league. We had a little bit of a chip on our shoulder coming into this game.”

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Huntington Beach (16-5) rested junior center Andie Payne and freshman guard Akemi Tanga against Laguna Beach. Both have battled through injury this season.

Payne came back as a defensive force, supplying seven points, six blocked shots, five rebounds and two steals.

“It’s just our defense,” Payne said. “Coach [McClurg], the first thing that he prioritizes is defense. That’s what we really have to get good at, with our box outs and rebounds. It’s just all about defense to coach and to us.”

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Huntington Beach’s Marisa Tanga (20) drives baseline against Corona del Mar’s Tori Gyselaar and Makena Tomlinson during a Surf League game on Thursday.
(Drew A. Kelley)

The Oilers scored the first 11 points of the game, led by senior guard Marisa Tanga. Her dribble penetration led to a layup and two free throws on the Oilers’ first two possessions. She also kicked the ball out to Krause for a three-pointer at the top of the key.

Krause got off to a torrent start, making her first three shots from beyond the arc. She led all scorers with 13 points at the half.

“I think I just had this motivation to really win after our loss last week in Fountain Valley,” Krause said. “It was really sad because I knew we could have done better. Coming into this game, our actual [league], I feel like we really need to step it up.

“I felt like I really didn’t do [well] last time, so I really needed to step it up today.”

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The Oilers were able to keep the Sea Kings on the perimeter, where Dorothy Schwenck made a three-pointer at the 3:35 mark of the first quarter for CdM’s only field goal of the first half.

Payne had two blocks early, indicating that the paint would be heavily protected.

Tanga finished with 11 points, four assists, four steals and three rebounds for the Oilers. Alyssa Real had seven points and three assists. Cassidee Kinslow and Nicole Palmer each made one three-pointer.

Huntington Beach will have to continue to play the role of road warriors, as the Oilers have been unable to use their home gymnasium. McClurg said that water damage occurred due to rain on Christmas evening.

Given that adversity, McClurg felt that winning the league opener was important for his team going forward.

“To me, this was a huge game because we’re in the driver seat,” McClurg said. “We know the league is down this year a little bit, Los Alamitos being a little down.

“Our next home game is at Marina [against Los Alamitos on Jan. 21], and then we play our home game against [CdM] at Fountain Valley High School. The Edison game, we have yet to be determined.”

Schwenck had a team-high 12 points for CdM (17-6). Haley Esquino had five points. Trasara Alexander had two points and nine rebounds, while Makena Tomlinson grabbed eight rebounds.

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Corona del Mar’s Haley Esquino advances the ball down the court as Huntington Beach’s Akemi Tanga chases her during a Surf League game on Thursday.
(Drew A. Kelley)

Surf League

Huntington Beach 47, Corona del Mar 19

Huntington Beach 19 – 7 – 13 – 8 — 47

Corona del Mar 3 – 6 – 8 – 2 — 19

HB – Krause 13, M. Tanga 11, Real 7, Payne 7, Kinslow 3, Palmer 3, A. Tanga 3.

3-pt. goals – Krause 3, Kinslow 1, Real 1, Palmer 1, A. Tanga 1.

Fouled out – None.

Technicals – None.

CdM – Schwenck 12, Esquino 5, Alexander 2.

3-pt. goals – Schwenck 3.

Fouled out – None.

Technicals – None.

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