Oilers dial long distance in victory

The Huntington Beach High girls' basketball team traveled to San Diego County on Wednesday for the opening round of the CIF State Southern California Regionals Division 1 tournament and returned to Surf City later than night with an impressive victory.

The Oilers took on CIF San Diego Section Division 1 champion San Diego and crushed the host Cavers, 71-51, to advance to Saturday's second round.

Huntington (26-5) jumped out to a 20-8 lead at the end of the first quarter and was in front, 38-27, at the half. The Oilers then put the game away by outscoring the Cavers, 20-7, in the third quarter.

Three Oilers hit double figures, with senior Kelsey Minato scoring a game-high 28 points. Minato netted a career-best eight three-point shots in a game where the Oilers set a school single-game record with 17 three-pointers. Minato also collected 12 rebounds.

Sophomores Stephanie Louie and Danielle Kennedy  also had big scoring games with 18 and 13 points, respectively. Oilers Coach Russ McClurg said that Kennedy played "solid defense" on San Diego's top player, senior point guard Tia Dixon, who came in averaging 18 points. Dixon was held to 12 points.

The previous school record for three-pointers in a game for Huntington was 16, McClurg said.

Huntington again is on the road for its second-round game Saturday. The Oilers, runners-up to the CIF Southern Section Division 1AA title, travel to face Division 1A champion Mater Dei. The Monarchs, the top seed in the Division 1 tournament, cruised to a 77-35 first-round win on Wednesday over Burbank.

Saturday's game tips at 6 p.m. A second-round Division 1 boys' game between Mission Viejo and top-seed Mater Dei follows the girls' game at 7:30 p.m.

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