High-SchoolCalifornia: Rejane Verin

State Divisional Girls BB Rankings

March, 15, 2012
California high school girls basketball,Cal-Hi Sports state rankingsWillie Eashman/ESPNHSBishop O'Dowd's Kendall Waters plays tough defense in 2011 CIF Division III Northern California final.
No. 1 teams according to ESPNHS Cal-Hi Sports heading into Saturday’s regional championships at four sites include Mater Dei (D1), St. Mary’s of Stockton (D2), Bishop O’Dowd (D3), La Jolla Country Day (D4) and Mission Prep (D5).

Highlights from Tuesday’s games included:

"Serra of Gardena posting a surprisingly easy win over Windward, which was No. 1 in the state just two weeks ago

"Long Beach Poly getting a revenge victory over Brea Olinda and setting up clash with Mater Dei

"Two-time defending Division V state champ Pinewood being eliminated by Brookside Christian

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New Cal-Hi Sports Girls BB Top 20

February, 28, 2012
CalHiSports, Serra, Gardena, CaliforniaMark Tennis/ESPNHSRejane Verin (second from left) and the rest of the Gardena Serra girls have earned a return trip to the CIFSS championships in Anaheim.
Important announcement from Cal-Hi Sports | Archived Cal-Hi Sports content

Serra of Gardena posts two eye-opening wins and goes from unranked to No. 16 in this week’s rankings. The Cavaliers take on No. 1 Windward in CIFSS final.

The Cal-Hi Sports caravan was busy last week covering mostly boys in the CIF North Coast Section and CIF Central Coast Section, but we did have an opportunity to take in the Carondelet of Concord versus Northgate of Walnut Creek quarterfinal matchup in the NCS that preceded the host De La Salle boys game in Concord.

The Cougars led from start to finish, bolting out to a 24-9 lead after one quarter en route to an 87-58 victory.

Notre Dame-bound senior guard Hannah Huffman led the way with 22 points and seven rebounds with three assists. Super sophomore Natalie Romeo added 14 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals. Senior Melissa Russi chipped in with 11 points.

Top-ranked Windward, meanwhile, proved that no matter how good you are, a poor shooting night in the playoffs can keep a game close, especially against a quality opponent like St. Bernard of Playa del Rey, which moved up to D4 after finishing as the D5 state runner-up last season.

Windward prevailed 59-52 in the CIF Southern Section Div. 4AA semifinal, but it was anything but a cakewalk.

“It’s a good thing Imani (Stafford) showed up and that Jordin Canada wasn’t going to let us lose,” Windward coach Steve Smith told Cal-Hi Sports.

“We were 2-for-18 on threes and they dared us to shoot it,” continued Smith.

Stafford, who is still not totally at full tilt after rehabbing the summer and fall, missed several layups and only finished with 10 points, but the 6-foot-7 Texas-bound post had 21 rebounds, six blocks, and altered several shots that missed.

Sophomore Canada had a game-high 19 points (four rebounds, three steals, two assists) and along with Stafford, the pair keyed a 13-4 run that pushed the Wildcats' lead to 50-37 early in the fourth quarter and sealed the deal.

(Through games played on Saturday, Feb. 25)
(Last week’s ranking in parentheses)

1. (1) Windward (Los Angeles) 27-3
Coach Smith has been raving about the play of sophomore Kristen Simon. “Next year, this will be her team, but right now she’s our second-leading scorer and rebounder coming off the bench as the sixth girl.” Against St. Bernard, Simon had eight points and 10 rebounds. Earlier in the week, in a 66-49 win over JSerra of San Juan Capistrano, she had 11 points and nine rebounds. Next up is a CIFSS D4AA championship game matchup with new No. 17 Serra of Gardena, a 73-62 upset winner of second-seed and previous No. 17 Oaks Christian of Westlake Village.

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Cal-Hi Sports Top 20 Girls Basketball

January, 18, 2012
Jordan Adams is back at Mater Dei and should be good to go when No. 2 Monarchs play No. 1 Windward on Feb. 3.

The bad news for future opponents is music to the ears of Mater Dei of Santa Ana coach Kevin Kiernan and the Monarchs’ faithful.

“She’s been back for four games and playing pretty well even though she’s not 100 percent, but even a 70 percent Jordan Adams is one of the best players in the state,” Kiernan told Cal-Hi Sports.

Adams, who has been out since the second half of a loss to Riverdale Baptist of Maryland at the Nike TOC in Arizona, missed eight-and-a-half games and almost three weeks, with the Monarchs suffering both their losses in her absence.

Had not Canadian-born transfer Nirra Fields been playing lights out in her absence, Mater Dei might have had more problems in its grueling schedule.

With both girls in the lineup on MLK Day at the Tony Matson Memorial Classic at Orange Lutheran, Mater Dei put a 63-27 shellacking on previously state-ranked Anaheim Canyon. Fields had 30 points (six steals) and Adams 11 points.

“Nirra is something else. You’ve got to see her,” Kiernan remarked. “She’s starting to rev it up.”

The Cal-Hi Sports caravan will get the chance to see Fields and Adams against Windward of Los Angeles in a probable No. 1 vs. No. 2 state showdown on Feb. 3 in Santa Ana at the Nike Extravaganza.

Despite Windward taking an out-of-state 62-48 loss to POWERADE FAB 50 top-ranked St. Mary’s of Phoenix last week, the girls remain as the No. 1 California team in this week’s national rankings and No. 1 in the Cal-Hi Sports state rankings.

Coach Steve Smith and the girls have shied away from no one this season. Before they meet Mater Dei, they’ll be coming off a Jan. 28 match-p at Long Beach City College with current state No. 3 Long Beach Poly.

(Previous ranking in parentheses)
(After games of Monday, Jan. 16)

1. (1) Windward (Los Angeles) 16-3
It’s pretty tough to come home from two major tournaments involving nationally-ranked teams, play a few running clock league games, then have to face the FAB 50 No. 1 team in the nation on its home turf, but that’s exactly what coach Steve Smith tried to do, and it didn’t work. The Wildcats fell behind 32-16 in the second quarter against St. Mary’s of Phoenix, and although sophomore power forward Kristen Simon scored seven unanswered points in the third quarter to get the girls to within five points of the lead, the D1-recruit laden local girls closed out a 62-48 win.

2. (2) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 17-2
The eight-day four-game stretch was a lot easier with Jordan Adams back in the line-up. In her first game back, a Trinity League 67-57 victory over Orange Lutheran at home, the 6-foot-1 USC-bound phenom had 11 points. Two nights later, she had her best outing in the four games with 18 points in a blowout of Fullerton Rosary. Meanwhile, Adams’ backcourt mate and UCLA-committed Nirra Fields continues to dominate. Besides the 30 points she had against Canyon, the 5-foot-9 flash had 27 in the Orange Lutheran win. The fourth win of the week was a running clock win over Pacifica of Oxnard.

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