Warriors Caught off Guard at CIF Finals


Jessica Zhou, Staff Writer

West Torrance girls basketball’s bid for a repeat CIF championship title was foiled with a 47-25 loss to formidable contenders from Ventura at the 2016 CIF Southern Section Division 1AA playoffs, held at Azusa Pacific University on Saturday, March 5th.


Ventura girls basketball, ranked 28th in the state and 124th in the country (West’s state rank is 34th, national rank, 185th), had studied and memorized  the Warriors’ game tapes to implement a defensive strategy against the four main offensive plays, nicknamed “Basic,” “Husky,” “Loop,” and “Flare.”


Due to this preparation, Ventura was able to establish a 4-0 lead early in the first quarter, which progressed to 21-10 by the end of the second quarter. West was never quite able to recover for the rest of the game.


“I think it was just the emotions and the nerves,” said forward Dakota Jones (12).  “We beat two really good teams to get here, so we knew we had the mentality to be able to play in this game, but we just beat ourselves.”


Having advanced to CIF playoffs for the third year in a row, in addition to having won a CIF section title in the past year, West was more than ready to capture another title.


“This is our third time coming here, and every time we come here, it’s a change,”  point guard and shooting guard Hayley Tanabe (12), who led the team with nine points and two assists, no stranger to the Azusa Pacific basketball court, having competed at playoffs for the past three years.  “The depth perception throws us off a little bit and takes us a little while to adjust, and unfortunately we couldn’t adjust our shots tonight.”


With a slew of recent victories in previous CIF Southern Section 1AA Basketball playoffs against the likes of Redondo Union, Valencia, Torrance, and South High, the Warriors were capable but ultimately caught off guard and outplayed by a skillful adversary.


“They took us out of what we wanted to do early and made big shots for themselves,” West coach Bill Atkinson said. “We were being impatient on offense. We like to play inside-out, and we didn’t make the right adjustments.”
West girls’ basketball is sure to rebound in their upcoming championship game against Independence High School, which will be held March 9th at 7 P.M. at West High.