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    Villa Park girls basketball heats up as CIF-SS playoffs approach
    • January 23, 2024

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    Villa Park’s girls basketball team is showing its promise at the right time.

    With two weeks remaining in the regular season, the Spartans have climbed to No. 4 in the rankings for CIF-SS Division 3A, which could be one of Orange County’s most exciting groupings for the playoffs.

    Villa Park (13-10, 3-1), featuring three sophomores in its starting lineup, made the jump after an eye-opening 65-38 victory at Yorba Linda on Friday. The triumph pushed the Spartans closer toward earning an automatic playoff berth in the four-team North Hills League.

    “We are starting to get things churning in the right direction,” Villa Park coach Brad Willis said. “(We’re getting) contributions from multiple players in different categories. Not one player has to score 25 for us be successful. We have a balanced attack.”

    The triumph against Yorba Linda was a prime example.

    Sophomore guard Suriah Auerswald produced 15 points and five rebounds off the bench to help pace Villa Park. Sophomore guard Sabina Patel, a transfer from Sonora, had 14 points and two blocks while junior wing Marina Trumpour added 11 points, eight rebounds and six steals.

    Villa Park starts sophomores Patel, Olivia Sturdivant (Mater Dei transfer) and Bailey Roczey, Trumpour and senior Kaitlyn Ith.

    The Spartans play host to first-place Canyon (15-8, 3-0) on Tuesday and close league on Feb. 1 by playing host to Yorba Linda (11-12, 1-2).

    JSerra and St. Margaret’s are ranked ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in Division 3A. Dana Hills is positoned fifth.


    Orange Coast League members Calvary Chapel and St. Margaret’s will extend their rivalry to the Nike Extravaganza with a clash Friday at 4:30 p.m. at Mater Dei.

    The schools play their second league game on Tuesday, making the showcase a nonleague game.

    In the teams’ first league meeting, the Eagles (16-8, 9-0) edged the Tartans (19-5, 8-1) in overtime 67-65.

    Calvary Chapel coach Jon Hughes and St. Margaret’s coach Josh Markum have a friendly rivalry from their days coaching boys basketball.

    “I’m just excited for our girls to play in an event like this against a solid opponent,” Markum said of the Nike Extravaganza.


    Huntington Beach plans to honor coach Russ McClurg before its game on Thursday for recently earning his 500th career victory. … Buena Park junior post Tamila Fanene has enrolled at Anaheim, Colonists athletic director Alfonso Rodriguez confirmed. Fanene’s eligibility for the remainder of this season is unclear. … Seniors Erin Choi of Sunny Hills and Sydney Peterson of San Juan Hills recently reached the 1,000 career points milestone.

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    ​ Orange County Register