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Oilers denied in CIF final

Huntington Beach plays top-ranked Summit tough, but SkyHawks score game's final five points to win, 56-51.

March 07, 2012|By Mike Sciacca
  • Huntington Beach High's Stephanie Louie, left, Danielle Kennedy, Paola Roa and Jill Nakaso after losing, 56-51, to Summit in a CIF Division 1A girls basketball championship game at Anaheim Arena on Friday.
Huntington Beach High's Stephanie Louie, left,… (KEVIN CHANG, HB…)

ANAHEIM — The Huntington Beach High girls' basketball team had nearly enough firepower in its arsenal to knock off another giant.

Three days after taking down second-ranked El Toro, third-ranked Huntington Beach gave top-ranked Summit all it could handle in Friday's CIF Southern Section Division 1A championship game at Anaheim Arena.

The SkyHawks scored 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 were making their first championship game appearance in 34 years — they also finished runner-up in 1978 — and faced a pair of nine-point deficits late in the third quarter against the taller SkyHawks.

But a strong fourth quarter by the Seahawks had the game tied at 51 with 1:10 left before Summit reeled off the winning points.

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"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. "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."

Sunset League co-champion Huntington (25-5) tied the score at 51 when sophomore guard Paola Roa scored off a miss by senior point guard Kelsey Minato. Summit took the lead for good when 6-foot-2 senior forward Jillian Alleyne, who played on the same youth club team as Minato and Huntington senior guard Maya Kennedy, drove down court, scored and was fouled on the play. Alleyne converted her free throw with 49 seconds remaining.

Huntington missed its final two shots attempts down the stretch and Summit hit two more free throws.

The play that turned the game was the three-point play by Alleyne, who nearly drove the entire length of the floor on her game-winning shot. Her ability to drive in such a manner, despite her 6-2 frame, is one of her strengths, Summit Coach Latrina Duncan said.

"She's like a gazelle out there," Duncan said of Alleyne. "She's so fluid running down floor running like that."

Summit, which dropped to Division 1A this year after playing in Division 1AA, had its hands full from the start with Huntington. The Oilers pressed and ran, swarmed and hustled, and led early on. It was a three-to-five point spread much of the game until Summit twice built its lead to nine points near the end of the third quarter.

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