Los Angeles Preps: Priscilla Brooks

CIF state girls basketball finals preview

March, 21, 2012
Division I

Mater Dei of Santa Ana vs. Berkeley

Mater Dei (34-1) meets Berkeley (27-2) in the Division I championship game for the second year in a row. Mater Dei won last season's game, 59-47. For Mater Dei, this will be the Monarchs’ fifth trip to the CIF state final. They are in search of their third straight championship. UCLA-bound Nirra Fields, the Gatorade state player of the year, scored 20 points against Long Beach Poly in the Southern California Regional final. Berkeley is making its record-setting 11th appearance in the CIF state championship game. Elisha Davis, who’s headed to Arizona State, scored 17 points and made four 3-pointers, against Kennedy of Sacramento in the Northern California Regional final.

Division II

J.W. North of Riverside vs. Archbishop Mitty of San Jose

J.W. North won only four games last season. Now the Huskies from Riverside (31-5) are one win away from a state championship. First-year coach Leonard De Coud guided J.W. North to its first state championship appearance in school history. The Huskies beat Santa Ana Foothill, 57-49, in the Southern California Regional final. Priscilla Brooks led J.W. North with 17 points against Foothill. Archbishop Mitty (27-5) is making its ninth appearance in the CIF state championship game and its first since 2008. Kelli Hayes scored 23 points and had 10 rebounds against St. Mary’s from Stockton in the Northern California Regional final.

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Lynwood girls hold off J.W. North in 2AA

March, 2, 2012

ANAHEIM -- In the words of Lynwood girls’ basketball coach Ellis Barfield, the Lady Knights weren’t very good at the free-throw line this season.

It was difficult to tell Friday afternoon.

Lynwood made 11 of 14 free-throw attempts in the fourth quarter of the Southern Section Division 2AA final against J.W. North, allowing the Lady Knights to hold on for a 66-55 victory at the Anaheim Convention Center Arena.

“We put a lot of time and effort on those free throws,” Barfield said. “It paid off.”

It didn’t appear the game would come down to free throws earlier in the half.

The fifth-seeded Lady Knights led by as many as 19 points in the third quarter before the third-seeded Huskies made their second run of the game. North, which led, 14-7, early on, cut the deficit to five on a 3-pointer by Akilah Martin with 3:30 left in the game, and Kamille Diaz sank another 3-pointer five seconds later to trim Lynwood’s lead to two.

“Our heads weren’t in there in the fourth quarter,” said Lynwood sophomore guard Priscilla Lopez. “I guess we thought we won the game already.”

Once they reached the free-throw line, however, they seemed to locate their focus again.

Jazmine Johnson sank two free throws with 3:01 remaining to push the lead back to four. Alize Lofton then made two to push it to six and Amber Blockmon sank two more to stretch the lead to 59-51 with 1:54 left. That seemed to deflate the Huskies for good.

“The fight came out of us,” said North coach Leonard De Coud, who took over this season and increased the team’s win total from four to 27.

Lopez finished with 14 points to lead the Lady Knights, Blockman had 13 points and nine rebounds and Shahana Zeigler contributed 12 points and seven rebounds.

Priscilla Brooks scored 18 points for North before fouling out with 2:52 remaining and Lynwood leading by four.