Griffins lose close second-round playoff game

Megan Lee scrambles for a loose ball against a California High player. Photo by Ted Apodaca

The Los Alamitos girls varsity basketball team got knocked out of the CIF Southern Section 3AA playoffs in the second round, losing a close contest to fifth-ranked Pioneer High 51-48.  The Griffins, ranked 11th in 3AA, had reached the Saturday, February 11, second-round home game by defeating California High two days earlier in the opening round of CIF playoffs.

In the loss to Pioneer (21-6), the Griffins (20-10) were led by junior point guard Kayli Liew who scored 20 points, and had 5 assists, 5 steals, and  3 rebounds.

Junior center Kassidy Beach chipped in 9 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 blocked shots.  Freshman Melanie Stewart added 8 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 blocked shots, and sophomore Bryn Pagett contributed 14 rebounds, 5 points, and 2 steals.

The Griffins trailed Pioneer by 3 points at the half, 31-28, but came back to take a 44-41 lead by the end of the third quarter before falling behind in the final minutes of the game.

In the first-round 46-37 playoff victory over California on Thursday, February 9, the first quarter ended in a 9-9 tie, but the Griffins grabbed a 20-11 lead by the half and extended it to 16 points in the third quarter.  Although California briefly closed the gap to 6 points, the Griffins never surrendered the lead.

Freshman Tamlyn Yoshida led the Griffins in scoring against California with 11 points, including 3 threes; Liew added 10 points, 5 assists, and 3 steals.  Beach and junior Megan Lee each chipped in 8 points, and Pagett dominated the glass with 13 rebounds.

Los Alamitos finished the season winning 12 of its final 14 games, including the last league game, a 43-37 victory over Corona del Mar, that earned the Griffins the Surf League co-championship.