Los Angeles Preps: Jim Martin

Laguna Hills no match for O'Dowd

March, 24, 2012

SACRAMENTO -- Though they could not have heard it tucked away in the visitor's lockerroom, one song that played during halftime of Saturday afternoon’s CIF Division III girls basketball championship may as well have been dedicated to Laguna Hills High School: The Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”

The Hawks were dismantled from beginning to end by Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland 62-24 at Power Balance Pavilion.

“They’ve got everything -- they’ve got size, quickness; it’s hard to find a weakness,” Laguna Hills coach Jim Martin said. “They brought it from the get-go.”

After the euphoria of upsetting Southern California top seed Mission Bay of San Diego a week ago in the regional final in Ontario, second-seeded Laguna Hills got no such feeling in Sacramento. The Dragons’ back-court quickness enabled them to roar out to a 10-0 lead in the first 4:52 before senior forward Celia Marfone made a pair of free throws to put Laguna Hills on the board. Bishop O’Dowd got three layups off of back-court steals in the first quarter.

The Dragons led 18-6 after one quarter and that lead ballooned to 27-8 a couple of minutes in when Marfone, who will play at collegiately at UC Davis, again ended the run.

“That’s definitely the best team we’ve seen this year,” Marfone said. “Their height advantage over us was pretty clear. When they had the ball in the post, they converted. When we had the ball in the post, we didn’t.”

Marfone recorded a double-double with team-highs in points (12) and rebounds (11). Junior guard Maddy Ziering-Smith added 10 points and five steals.

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Laguna Hills girls win Div. III

March, 17, 2012

ONTARIO -- The Laguna Hills girls' basketball team is Sacramento bound.

The CIF-Southern Section Division 3AA champion Lady Hawks captured the Southern California Regional title Saturday, beating San Diego Mission Bay, 75-69, at Citizens Bank Arena. It will be Laguna Hills' second trip to the state championship game and first since taking it all in 1997.

"They played with such supreme confidence this year," Laguna Hills coach Jim Martin said. "That came through for us down the stretch."

Laguna Hills, which last month captured its fifth section title, has won 11 straight. They will face Northern California titlist Oakland Bishop O'Dowd at Power Balance Pavilion.

UC Davis signee Celia Marfone had a game-high 28 points and 14 rebounds, including four makes from beyond the arc.

"We wanted Laguna Hills to play fast," Mission Bay coach Sade Wiley-Gatewood said. "But I didn't think they've be able to shoot the 3-pointer like they did."

In all, Laguna Hills (26-8) made seven 3-pointers. Center Anna Mumm had a career-high 20 in support of Marfone, and point guard Maddy Ziering-Smith posted a double-double with 13 points and 11 assists. She also had seven steals.

"We knew they'd be all over Celia," Mumm said. "We had to step up."

A three by Brooke Shimazaki gave the Lady Hawks a nine-point lead with just under four minutes remaining. The advantage shrunk to four but Laguna Hills buckled down defensively and made its free throws.

"I'm just thrilled about this outcome," Martin said.
UC Davis has be pretty happy that its basketball program is getting a couple of recruits who are still playing.

Celia Marfone of Laguna Hills and Molly Greubel of Santa Ana Foothill have led their teams to the Southern Section Regional Championships today at Citizens Bank Arena in Ontario.

Marfone has been the big presence for Laguna Hills (25-8) which won a state title in 1997 with 6-foot-6 Tayyiba Haneef in the post. Laguna Hills hopes to beat top-seeded Mission Bay (26-6) today, 10 a.m., in the Division III regional finals. Even though the Hawks don't have anyone like Haneef, Marfone (6-0) and Anna Mumm (6-2) provide two posts that provide a solid foundation. They also have a junior guard in Maddy Ziering-Smith who can distribute the ball as well as score.

Marfone is averaging 19 points and 14 rebounds; she had 20 points and 22 rebounds against Mission Hills Alemany in the regional semifinals, a 58-49 victory. Mumm, a junior, is averaging just 5.5 points but has averaged 10 rebounds and blocked 105 shots this season. Ziering-Smith is averaging 16.8 points with four assists and four steals per game.

Mission Bay is coached by former Lynwood High star Sade Wiley-Gatewood, who won state championships as a point guard when she was in high school. She's coaching a team with tall athletic guards that will be a handful for Laguna Hills, which has now won five section championships.

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