The Huntington Beach High girls’ basketball team has not been considered an offensive juggernaut over the past two seasons.
Much of the offense has been run in half-court sets, taking time off the clock and feeding into the program’s defense-first mentality.
On Thursday night, however, the Oilers did enough scoring early that there would be no doubt at halftime that they would win.
Meghan McIntyre had a game-high 15 points to go with four steals and two assists, and Huntington Beach beat Canyon 56-20 in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division 2AA playoffs at home.
The Oilers (22-6) will go on the road to face Crescenta Valley (18-10), the third-place team from the Pacific League, on Saturday at 7 p.m. The Falcons won 51-37 at Empire League champion Kennedy in their playoff opener.
Huntington Beach and Crescenta Valley have a playoff history. In 2016, the Falcons earned a 51-48 road victory against the Oilers in the Division 1A quarterfinals.
The Oilers led 19-4 over the Comanches (15-13) after the first quarter, and they built their lead to 30-4 by halftime. Huntington Beach put the mercy-rule running clock into effect in the fourth quarter when its lead reached 40 points.
McClurg called the game one of his team’s better offensive performances of the season.
“It means that we’re peaking at the right time, which is the playoffs, and I’m excited about that,” McClurg said. “We’ve got to keep focused because we’re going to have to go on the road and play a real tough Crescenta Valley team, at [its] place, which is real tough for us.
“If we continue to play defense like that, we can beat anybody.”
Andie Payne started the game hot, scoring all of her 10 points in the first quarter. She added nine rebounds and two blocked shots.
“We just had to start off strong to guarantee our spot [in the second round],” Payne said. “We really want to go far in CIF.
“We just want to keep going. We’re taking every game one at a time, so we wanted to secure this one.”
Marisa Tanga added 11 points for the Oilers, and she was one of eight Huntington Beach players to make a basket on the evening.
Alyssa Real added four points, four assists and three rebounds. Daniella Benabou had four points, four rebounds and three assists, and Noelle Duffey chipped in with six points on two three-pointers.
“I think everyone plays their roles, which helps us a lot and helps us grow as a team, especially going into playoffs with a lot more games to go, hopefully,” Tanga said. “Also, it’s nice to have the bench come in, too, to play and get to experience CIF with us. I think that’s really cool.”
CIF Southern Section Division 2AA playoffs
Huntington Beach 56, Canyon 20
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Canyon 4 – 0 – 7 – 9 — 20
Huntington Beach 19 – 11 – 20 – 6 — 56
C – Uyematsu 8, Kitsigianis 4, Avalos 3, Lofink 2, Yu 2, Farrell 1.
3-pt. goals – Avalos 1, Uyematsu 1.
Fouled out – None.
Technicals – None.
HB – McIntyre 15, Tanga 11, Payne 10, Duffey 6, Real 4, Benabou 4, Serrano 3, Palmer 3.
3-pt. goals – Duffey 2, Palmer 1, Tanga 1, Serrano 1.
Fouled out – None.