Chaminade and Troy, two of the top girls' basketball teams in the Southland, were tied, 47-47, halfway through the fourth quarter of Wednesday's Palisades tournament quarterfinal game. Then the Eagles turned up the defensive pressure, led by 6-foot-1 junior Valerie Higgins, and the rest of the game was a Chaminade highlight film.
The Eagles went on a 21-0 run, shutting out Troy for the rest of the quarter in coming away with a 68-47 victory. Higgins, who helped Chaminade win a state Division III title as a sophomore and is considered one of the top college prospects in the Southland, finished with 21 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and 12 steals. Fourteen of her points came in the fourth quarter during the surge.
Mater Dei transfer Leaonna Odom, who had 15 points, combines with Higgins to give Chaminade two of the top college prospects from the class of 2016. The Eagles look like a definite contender to win the Southern Section Open Division championship.
Rebecca Lazuka scored 18 points for Troy.
Chaminade will play Keppel on Friday in a semifinal game at 7 p.m. Keppel defeated Windward, 66-56. Lauren Saiki scored 22 points, Sophia Song had 21 points and Kelli Kamida made five three-pointers to lead Keppel. Jayde Woods had 22 points for Windward.
Katie Lou Samuelson scored 33 points in Mater Dei's 74-32 win over Palisades. The Monarchs will play Oaks Christian in an 8:30 p.m. semifinal on Friday. Oaks Christian defeated Garces, 54-38.
Friday's schedule: Taft vs. Agoura, 10 a.m.; West Torrance vs. Palos Verdes, 11:30 a.m.; North vs. Marlborugh, 1 p.m.; Long Beach Millikan vs. Serra, 2:30 p.m.; Troy vs. Windward, 4 p.m.; Palisades vs. Garces, 5:30 p.m.; Chaminade vs. Keppel, 7 p.m.; Mater Dei vs. Oaks Christian, 8:30 p.m.