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Oilers fall short

Girls' Basketball

Huntington Beach plays Summit tough, but loses in CIF Southern Section Division 1A title game

March 03, 2012|By Mike Sciacca

ANAHEIM – David nearly had enough firepower in his arsenal to knock off another giant.

Three days after taking down second-seeded El Toro, the Huntington Beach girls' basketball team gave Summit all it could handle in Friday's CIF Southern Section Division 1A championship game at Anaheim Arena, and it took the top-ranked SkyHawks all they could muster, to avoid being slayed by the third-seeded Oilers. Summit managed to score the final five points of the game to pull out a 56-51 victory to give the school its first Southern Section title in girls' basketball.

The Oilers, who were making their first championship game appearance in 34 years – they also finished runner-up in 1978 – faced a nine-point deficit late in the third quarter but their heart and determination in the final eight minutes, nearly overcame a distinct height disadvantage against the taller SkyHawks.

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The score was tied at 51-51 with 1:10 left in the game before Summit reeled off the winning points.

"We're never out of games. Never. The kids know my motto all year, which is, ‘Go for it,’” said Huntington Beach Coach Russ McClurg who, as he uttered the words, senior point guard Kelsey Minato, sitting to McClurg's left during the postgame press conference, repeated in sync and aloud. "We've been underdogs all year and playing against giants [El Toro, Summit], I was hoping we'd be David again tonight. We just came up short."

In a game where Huntington led early and Summit fought back to lead at the end of the final three quarters, it was the SkyHawks who were able to piece together several key runs that helped them go in front. Three times in the first three quarters they used 7-0 runs to build their advantage, then turned their final run, a 5-0 spurt over the final minute, into a CIF title.

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