Girls Open Division Preview

1 Harvard Westlake vs 8 Serra
2 Windward vs 7 Bishop Montgomery
3 Mater Dei vs Ribet Academy
4 Sierra Canyon vs 5 Etiwanda
Games played 7pm Lower Seed
Saturday Feb.17, 2018

Harvard Westlake vs Serra
Harvard Westlake High 7pm

Harvard Westlake Wolverines
Head Coach Melissa Hearlihy (700+ victories)
#4 State, #9 National (Maxpreps)
24-4 Mission league Champions

Class of 2021 6’1 Freshman F Kiki Iriafen motions to her teammate as she prepares to set a screen down low. Young lady has nice potential.  Popscout

Harvard Westlake has been special the entire season behind the super hero powers of Jayla and Jayda Ruffus-Milner.  The twin seniors, who’ll be taking their skills to Pepperdine next season, rely on their unique chemistry as sisters and sharing a special bond as twins, to propel their team to victory.  They’ve developed the fortitude and wherewithal to win close games down the stretch, executing head coach Melissa Hearlihy’s (picked up her 700th victory this season) game plan to perfection.  If Senior sharp shooter #21 Melanie Hirsch starts to pull the bow and arrow from long range, with accuracy, it could spell trouble.  Freshman F Kiki Iriafan has provided the necessary spark down low, keeping teams honest and aware of her presence in the paint.  Harvard Westlake has a tendency to let teams stay in games without putting them away.  If this happens Saturday night against Serra, look for Jayda and Jayla to find the nearest phone-booth (or locker room), slip into their super hero outfits, and save the day for The Lady Wolverines once again. My hero!

Serra Cavaliers 19-6, 6-2
Head Coach Mckinsey Hadley
Del Rey league Runner Up (Bishop Montgomery)
#8 State, #27, National

Harvard Westlake Guard Jayda Ruffus-Milner (14) attempts to block a shot from Serra guard Alexis Tucker during a semifinal match-up at the 2017 Redondo Union Battle @ The Beach Tourney (PopScout).

We love the footwork and post presence from the Serra bigs.  These young ladies show patience and skills on the block. The way Head Coach McKinsey Hadley works the sidelines during the course of a game is special.  Serra lost to Harvard Westlake 72-60 December 1, 2017 during the Redondo Union Battle @ the Beach Tourney.  The Lady Cavaliers are hoping the second time around is a charm.  Jr. PG Alexis Tucker is on the radar as a one to watch for the Class of 2019.  The young lady shows swag with the ability to get to the paint, stop and pop, or be savvy enough to shimmy her way to the bucket for and ones.  If Serra has any chance of pulling this one out on the road,  they must play at a high level for 32 minutes and if it’s a close one, limit their mental mistakes down the stretch.

The Pick:
Harvard Westlake

Windward vs Bishop Montgomery
Windward High 7pm

Windward 20-3, 6-0
Head Coach Vanessa Nygaard
#5 State, #12 National
Gold Coast league Champions


Popscout is a bit biased to Windward. We love their squad because of their uptempo style of play, unselfishness and unity, and their ability to show up and out on a big stage.  2019 All-American to be PG Charisma Osborne is as special as they come.  This young lady right here does all the little things (and big things) to make her team excel.  Couple that with Head Coach Vanessa Nygaard’s knowledge of the game and ability to empower her players, truly allow Windward to take their game to the next level.  Look for them to come out firing on all cylinders, looking to grab a CIF Open Division Title when it’s all said and done.


Bishop Montgomery
Head Coach Noell Quinn
18-8, 7-1
Del Rey league Champs
#18, #80


Got a glimpse of Bishop Montgomery during the Redondo Union Battle @ the Beach Tourney.  Their team is poised and very well coached as well.  The lady Knights share the campus with the Boys #1 team in the State.  Sweet.   They’ve held their own during regular season and league play, grabbing the Gold Coast League ‘Ship over #8 Open Division selected Serra.  Bishop Montgomery must play a mistake free game and hope the cards are dealt in their favor tonight on the campus of Windward and their beautiful athletic facility.  Players mist become special in order for them to grab the win.

The Pick

Mater Dei vs Ribet Academy
Mater Dei High 7pm

Mater Dei Monarchs
22-3, 8-0
Trinity League Champions
#6 State, #16 National


A lot of discussion and rumors about the Mater Dei freshman sensations. The two look solid as can be.  If all goes as planned, they’ll be top recruits when it’s time to sign on the dotted line.  Mater Dei puts pressure on you full court family for most of the game with a smothering, trapping, aggressive defense.  They make you break their press and if not, they look to feed off your mistakes by getting out looking to run and finish.  Sr. 6’2 F Emma Torbert (signed with Nevada) is active enough to make a difference on both ends of the floor, while giving them needed offensive production inside.  Look out Open division opponents, the Monarchs look poised and ready for a Championship run.

Ribet Academy
Head Coach Nelson Wong
24-3 (Independent)
#12 State, #52 National

Ribet Academy Justina King
Ribet Academy 2018 Sr. PG Justina King locks into her defender during the 2017 Lynwood Fall Showcase. This young lady has received several D1 offers behind her strong play. Popscout

Ribet Academy will need all of their players to step up and make plays if they have any chance of staying with Mater Dei tonight.  They do have the X-factor in 6’9 F Andrea Aquino (Oregon  State) who returned in January from sitting out because of CIF transfer rules.  She’s considered one of the best players in the State (#2 position, #7 overall per ESPN) and special enough to keep her team in games down the stretch.  Ribet Academy must contend with the trapping, swarming defense of Mater Dei, then be able to show poise and run their sets. It’ll be a tough task on the road with Mater Dei presently firing on all cylinders but that’s why we play the game.   Look for the Fighting Frogs to come in with enough wherewithal to secure a victory on the road.

The Pick:
Mater Dei
Watch live on NFHS

Sierra Canyon vs Etiwanda
Sierra Canyon High 7pm

Sierra Canyon Trailblazers
Head Coach Alicia Komaki
21-5, 5-1
#8 State, #32 National

Etiwanda Eagles
Head Coach Stan Delus
22-4, 10-0
#13 State, #53 National

2018 TCU Commit Ryann Payne is a Popscout player of the year candidate. Look for her to become special tonight during CIF SS Open Division play.  Popscout

We got a chance to see the first contest during the 2018 Matt Denning Hoops Classic hosted by mater Dei.  Etiwanda came out putting up numbers, catching Sierra Canyon off guard, giving them a nice wake-up call.  Sierra Canyon was able to weather the storm nonetheless,  coming away with the victory down the stretch.  The basketball Gods were truly looking down on the Trailblazers that day.  Sierra Canyon must work on controlling the offensive and defensive boards while limiting their opponents’ second chance points.  Etiwanda, on the other hand, must keep their cool and composure down the stretch. Continue to show strong guard presence who play at a very high level – without making mental mistakes that cost them leads or sway the momentum in the other direction.  This one is must see.

The Pick:
Toss up

Where Legends are Born.

Etiwanda PG
Etiwanda PG shot callin’ during the 2018 Matt Denning Hoops Classic hosted by Mater Dei. Popscout


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