Los Angeles Preps: Anna Kim

Girls: Brea Olinda 49, L.B. Poly 43

February, 28, 2012

ANAHEIM -- Anyone who has played basketball long enough has likely been scolded at one time or another for failing to follow their shot.

Taylor Spears of Brea Olinda showed the importance of that Tuesday afternoon.

Spears grabbed her own rebound off a missed jumper with just over a minute remaining against the top-seeded Long Beach Poly girls’ team and laid it back in, helping the fourth-seeded LadyCats hold on for a 49-43 victory in a Southern Section Division 1AA semifinal at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Brea Olinda will meet second-seeded Mater Dei in the championship game for the second year in a row Friday at 8:45 p.m. at Anaheim Convention Center. The Monarchs won last year’s meeting, 63-54.

“I knew it wasn't going to be easy,” said Brea Olinda coach Kim Cram-Torres: "Poly is so good and they're so tough. That's been my No. 1 concern: Would we be able to close out the game? I knew that we would be able to battle and keep it close. But the trick was closing.”

Spears, who finished with a team-high 14 points, did her job on her eighth and final rebound. As she moved in to grab the offensive board, she remembered another piece of advice.

“In practice, whenever that happens, coach tells us to go right back up,” said the 5-8 senior guard. “You have to gather yourself, compose yourself and go right back up with the ball.”

The basket gave Brea Olinda (24-5) a four-point lead after the Jackrabbits had scored four straight and appeared to be gaining momentum after trailing by nine to start the final quarter.

(Read full post)