Contact Form

    News Details

    Trinity League girls basketball looms tougher with improvement of Santa Margarita and JSerra
    • December 19, 2023

    Support our high school sports coverage by becoming a digital subscriber. Subscribe now

    Santa Margarita’s girls basketball team reached the finals of the Sunny Hills Showcase by playing without a major transfer who will soon be eligible. JSerra’s four starting freshmen combined to sink 11 3-pointers in a quality victory on the road.

    If the performances last week by the Trinity League’s two bottom-finishing teams a year ago were any indication, the Eagles and Lions are vastly improved.

    And that makes the Trinity League as tough as ever.

    “It’s going to make for a fun and interesting Trinity League,” Santa Margarita coach Seyram Bell said. “But that’s what it’s all about, right? There’s some tough competition. Every game is going to be a battle. Nothing is guaranteed.”

    Mater Dei, Orange Lutheran and Rosary are all ranked in somewhat familiar spots in the Orange County Top 10. But the Trinity League will have two other teams to watch when it tips off in early January.

    No. 21 Santa Margarita (9-4) is expected to have speedy, sophomore point guard Sydnie Lendsey, who has observed the sitout period since her transfer from Buena Park.

    She’ll join a lineup led by high-scoring and physical senior forward Lea-Line Romain and improved senior Emma Tijanich.

    The Eagles showed progress at the Sunny Hills Showcase by defeating the host Lancers and Capistrano Valley Christian before pushing No. 11 Portola in a 42-38 loss in the finals.

    It was a strong showing for a program that finished 7-17 last season and missed the playoffs.

    “We’ve been progressively getting better every tournament we’ve been in,” said Bell, whose team will play in the SoCal Holiday Prep Classic in San Diego after Christmas.

    “We’ve got a lot of young kids on our team … and our seniors are stepping up. Emma and Lea are doing a very good job in carrying us.”

    “(Lendsey) will open up things for everybody else because she’s so good off the dribble,” the coach added.

    JSerra freshmen Rosie Santos, Shae Talleur, Addie Nolan and Eden Hoff flashed their shooting abilities in a 65-58 victory at Pacifica Christian last week. They combined for 11 3-pointers against the Tritons, a team to watch in the challenging San Joaquin League.

    JSerra improved to 10-1 after not winning a game last season.

    “Going from not winning a game to winning, it’s really a blessing,” Lions coach Chyanne Butler said. “I think we can place well in Trinity League. I have high hopes for them because I believe in them and they play hard. Anything can happen.”

    JSerra is playing the San Pedro tournament this week and the Savanna tournament after Christmas.


    The all-tournament team from the Sunny Hills Showcase included Portola’s Kira Watanabe (MVP), Romain, Kiana Graham of Sonora and Andrea Rico of Capistrano Valley Christian. …

    Sonora boys and girls are hosting a showcase on Jan. 6 to benefit Children’s Hospital of Orange County. The games will be played at Sonora and Sunny Hills. …

    Sunny Hills coach Jae Byun is being assisted by John Wooldridge, who coached him during his playing days at the school. “It’s kind of full circle (for me),” Byun said. “It’s awesome.”

    Related Articles

    High School Sports |

    Orange County boys athlete of the week: Jaden Goodall, Canyon

    High School Sports |

    Orange County girls athlete of the week: Kira Watanabe, Portola

    High School Sports |

    Orange County girls basketball Top 25: Mater Dei enters Nike TOC ranked No. 1, Dec. 18

    High School Sports |

    Orange County boys basketball Top 25: Canyon, Trabuco Hills and Villa Park move up

    High School Sports |

    Portola girls basketball executes late to beat Santa Margarita for Sunny Hills Showcase title

    ​ Orange County Register