Los Angeles Preps: Tear'a Laudermill

Inland Empire and Orange County: Canyon Springs 63, Brea Olinda  53

March, 12, 2011
BREA – Biggest win ever.

That was the only proper description of Canyon Springs’ decisive 63-53 victory Saturday over Brea Olinda, the No. 3 ranked girls team in the nation, in the semifinals of the Southern California Regional Championships.

It wasn’t even the fact that third-seeded Canyon Springs won, but the manner in which they did it, and where they did it.

The Cougars (30-3) went into the Brea gym and outplayed the second-seeded Ladycats (31-2), who have won nine state championships. They outplayed Brea in every facet.

Just as impressively, teams don’t win at Brea. It just doesn't happen. But this one wasn’t even close. Canyon Springs led by 17 points at one point in the fourth quarter.

Junior Jasmine Johnson scored 20 points. Freshman Cheyenne Greenhouse scored 17, more than twice her average. And Nebraska-bound Tear’a Laudermill scored 15 but just as important controlled the game against Brea, which until last week’s loss to second-ranked Mater Dei had been the No. 1 team in the nation.

Under Laudermill's guidance, the Cougars committed only nine turnovers. Brea committed 16 with some of its worst passing of the season.

Even though Canyon Springs won a Southern Section title in 2005 during the Jennifer Risper era, the victory Saturday far exceeded it. The Cougars avenged a 55-36 loss in the section semifinals, a game in which coach Gail Hale thought her team was overpowered by the arena environment.

This time, though, they simply overpowered Brea.

“We looked at films and said if you start doing this stuff right, you got this game,” Hale said.

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Inland Empire and Orange County: Brea Olinda vs. Canyon Springs

March, 12, 2011
Southern California Regional Semifinals
Division I Girls
Canyon Springs (30-3) at Brea Olinda (31-1), 7 p.m.

Don't look ahead: Second-seeded Brea Olinda was undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the nation at the time it was beaten by Mater Dei in the Southern Section Division 1AA championship. A victory here probably sets up a rematch. Looking ahead to Mater Dei and not focusing on third-seeded Canyon Springs could spoil everything.

Who will be the star: Despite its athletes and the presence of shot-blocker Sophie Ederaine (6-2), who is averaging 7.2 per game, Canyon Springs can't focus on any one offensive threat. Brea can get double-figure scoring from every position on the floor, and they're deep. It doesn't stop with UCLA-bound Justine Hartman (11.5 points). Jeanier Olukemi (12.5), Alexis Perry (10.2) and Keitra Wallace (10.8) are all capable of putting away an opponent. A junk defense doesn't stand much chance of beating the Ladycats.

Stepping up: In addition to Nebraska-bound Tear'a Laudermill (16.9 points), Jasmine Johnson (13.2) and Ederaine (11.6 points), someone in the Canyon Springs lineup is going to have to make a play or two on offense or defense or both.

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