Los Angeles Preps: Sophia Ederaine

Inland Empire: SoCal Regional Finalist, Canyon Springs

March, 14, 2011
ESPNLA plans to take a closer look this week at the Inland Empire basketball teams that qualified for the Southern California Regional championship games Saturday at USC's Galen Center. First up, the Canyon Springs girls' basketball team in Division 1.


Location: Moreno Valley.

League: Inland Valley.

Resume: The Cougars opened the season ranked fourth in the Southern Section Division 1AA coaches' poll behind Mater Dei, Brea Olinda and Long Beach Poly. One of its two regular seasons losses came against Long Beach Poly, and Canyon Springs was later beaten by Brea Olinda in a Division 1AA semifinal. Payback came Saturday night in a regional semifinal, when the third-seeded Cougars stunned the Ladycats, 63-53, in Brea’s gym. For their efforts, they earned a date with top-seeded Mater Dei in Saturday's final at 6 p.m.

Roster: What makes Canyon Springs difficult to match against is its 1-2-3 punch of 5-9 senior guard Tear’a Laudermill, 5-11 junior wing Jasmine Johnson and 6-2 senior forward Sophia Ederaine. Laudermill, who has signed with Nebraska, is averaging 16.7 points, 5.3 assists and 3.6 steals. She has struggled with her shot the last two games, however, missing 19 of her last 26 field-goal attempts. Ederaine, who has signed with University of San Diego, provides a staunch presence in the middle that will be key against Mater Dei. She’s averaging 11.9 points, 9.7 rebounds and 7.2 blocks with five triple-doubles this season. Johnson is averaging 13.5 points and eight rebounds. In three regional playoffs games, she’s averaging 17 points.

Reality: Canyon Springs could be catching the Monarchs at the right time. Jordan Adams and Alexas Williamson, the starting backcourt for Mater Dei, are reported to be out for the season. Adams, a 6-foot junior point guard, injured her left shoulder in a quarterfinal victory against Santa Monica and did not play in the semifinal win against Harbor City Narbonne. Williamson, a 5-9 junior shooting guard, underwent appendectomy surgery last week and missed the last three games. Alexyz Vaioletama picked up some of the slack against Narbonne, totaling 29 points and 19 rebounds. Vaioletama, a 6-1 center who has signed with USC, will meet her match in Ederaine.

Result: Canyon Springs 67, Mater Dei 65.

Inland Empire: Winners and losers from Thursday's SoCal Regionals

March, 11, 2011
Looking back, even the losses don’t seem so bad anymore.

The Fontana Summit boys’ basketball team never quite received the respect it deserved this season, mainly due to its lukewarm 10-6 start to the season.

The SkyHawks were seeded No. 6 in the Southern Section Division 2AA playoffs and marched into the semifinals. They were awarded an at-large berth into the Southern California Regional Division 2 playoffs and were seeded 10th.

After winning its opener in overtime, Summit scored its biggest upset of the season Thursday night, traveling to second-seeded Ventura and dominating from start to finish in the 66-45 victory. Ventura won the Division 2AA title last weekend.

Summit will meet Palos Verdes Peninsula in Saturday’s semifinals. Thanks to a couple of other upsets on the same side of the bracket, the SkyHawks are seeded higher than the Panthers, giving them home-court advantage. After traveling to Harbor City for their first-round game Tuesday, then to Ventura less than 48 hours later, the SkyHawks should appreciate the opportunity to play in their own gym.

Summit hasn’t lost at home this season. All of their defeats occurred during pre-league tournaments and showcases. Two defeats came against Etiwanda, a Southern Section Division 1AA semifinalist, another to Division 1AA finalist Corona Centennial and one to San Diego Section Division I champion Carlsbad La Costa Canyon.

Eagles can’t get past Jackrabbits...again

Etiwanda coach Dave Kleckner will spend another offseason seeing everything in green and gold, but it won’t be the good kind.

Those are the school colors of Long Beach Poly, which ended the Eagles' season for the second consecutive year with a 66-63 victory Thursday night in a Division 1 regional quarterfinal at Long Beach City College.

During the last two postseasons, Etiwanda has played the Jackrabbits four times and lost three. The Eagles made a valiant comeback from 14 points down at the start of the fourth quarter and had a chance to tie on Jordan Daniels' last-second 3-point attempt.

Byron Wesley scored 18 points in his last game for Etiwanda before heading off to USC. Tyler LaCour pitched in 17.

Long Beach Poly moves on to play Mater Dei on Saturday at Long Beach City College beginning at 7 p.m. In the other Division 1 semifinal, second-seeded Corona Centennial will host third-seeded Woodland Hills Taft at 5 p.m. at Eastvale Roosevelt High.

For the Eagles, it’s back to the drawing board. They graduate their top five scorers in Wesley, Daniels, LaCour, Troy Fiawoo and Evan Jenkins. Look for them to rebuild around their next star, freshman guard Jordan McLaughlin.

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