The road to the Anaheim Convention Center, site of several CIF Southern Section divisional championship games, begins Saturday for four local girls' prep basketball teams.
Edison, Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley and Ocean View all have earned a spot in postseason play. The 2012-13 season came to an end for Marina and Brethren Christian on Feb. 6.
First-round games start at 7 p.m. Saturday. The winners in each division advance to second-round action at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Edison: The Chargers head into the Division 1-AA playoffs as the second-place team from the Sunset League. As the division's No. 12 seed in the tournament, they'll play host to Chino Hills. The Huskies tied for second place in the Sierra League.
Edison dropped its final Sunset League game of the season on Feb. 6, losing, 51-46, at Huntington Beach. Junior forward Loli Gomez led the Chargers (17-7 overall, 8-2 in league) with 17 points. Senior point guard Geena Gomez scored 14 points.
Fountain Valley: The Barons (11-15, 3-7) received an at-large berth to the Division 1-A playoffs and start postseason play with a first-round game at Burroughs of Burbank. The Indians are the No. 8 seed in the division.
Burroughs is led by post player Aysia Shellmire (17 points, eight rebounds, 3.5 blocks) and guards Sidney Ortega (13 ppg.) and Devina Del Castillo (six ppg., 10 reb., four steals, four assists).
"Burroughs is aggressive, physical, quick, athletic, tall and they have a good bench," Fountain Valley first-year coach Cory Clarke said. "Their relentless full-court pressure defense causes turnovers and makes you take bad shots. Their ability to rebound offensively is going to be a great challenge for us.
"If we can keep them off the boards and protect our possessions, we will give ourselves a chance to win."
Fountain Valley ended Sunset League play on Feb. 6 and scored a 61-44 home win on senior night over Marina. Senior guard Jasmine Matar scored 19 points to go with 11 rebounds and junior guard Danielle Kennedy scored 14 points and had five assists.
Matar is averaging 13 points, 10 rebounds, 3.5 steals, two blocks and three steals, Kennedy 11.5 points, four assists and two steals, junior forward Emily Krause six points and six rebounds, and senior forward Kelcie Mayott five points and six rebounds per game.
"Our season started well and finished well, with several frustrating moments in between," Clarke said. "I am proud of our girls willingness to stay together through the tough times. They believed in me and each other when we struggled to find good results.
"In the last two weeks, our focus, effort and consistency in practice and games have been really good. We are confident in who we are and looking forward to compete in the playoffs."
Huntington Beach: The Oilers, who last year reached the Division 1-A championship game, begin their quest for a repeat trip to the final when they travel to face Schurr of Montebello.
Huntington, which is 18-6 overall, is the No. 12 seed in the division. The Spartans are the second-place team from the Almont League.
Huntington sewed up a 7-3 Sunset League run and third-place finish on Feb. 6 when it knocked off visiting Edison, 51-46, on senior night. The Oilers stormed to a 24-5 lead in the first quarter before holding off a late rally by the Chargers, who were denied a share of the league title. Junior guard Stephanie Louie canned five three-pointers and led all scorers with 23 points, junior guard Paola Roa scored 16 points, and the victory was No. 288 for Coach Russ McClurg.
"I think we have a chance to do some damage this year in CIF," McClurg said. " We have some girls that have played in the big game last year so we have some experience.
"I am very happy how we played this year. Knowing we have some young kids. I felt this season would have many challenges. This year Stephanie Louie, Paola Roa, and Jill Nakaso, stepped up big for us this year."
Huntington and Schurr opened the 2012-13 season against each other at the Fountain Valley Tournament. The Oilers won that game, 55-40.
Junior wing Karli Kato leads the Spartans offensively with an 11.5 scoring average.
Ocean View: The Seahawks earned the No. 12 seed in the Division 3-A playoffs and play host to Covina. The Colts are the fourth-place team from the Valle Vista League.
Ocean View, 17-9 overall, is the third-place team from the Golden West League. The Seahawks secured the league's third postseason bid Friday when they defeated Orange, 33-22. Treasure Robinson led all scorers with 11 points.
It was the second win over Orange in a week for the Seahawks, who had previously knocked off the Panthers, 31-21, on Feb. 5.
"I feel we have basically played a 'playoff-esque' type game before going into the [CIF] playoffs, and we handled that task well," Ocean View Coach Kim Morris said.
Marina: The Vikings (12-14, 3-7) played their final game of the season on Feb. 7 and lost, 61-44, to Sunset League foe Fountain Valley. Senior guard Lauren Dorame scored 12 points, junior forward Natasha Mangham had nine points and 11 rebounds, junior guard Melissa Lindquist had eight points and four steals, and senior center Danielle Brown scored six points with six rebounds.
Marina tied Fountain Valley for fourth place in the Sunset League.
"As a coach, this team has been fun to work with," Marina first-year coach Carol Osbrink said. "The kids played hard, worked together as a team, and enjoyed being together. I wish our five seniors all the best as they go on to college. We will miss their talent, commitment and sense of humor."
CIF Southern Section Final Regular Season Rankings
Division 1-AA: Edison, No. 11.
Division 1-A: Huntington Beach, No. 12.
Division 3-A: Ocean View, No. 12.