Oaks Christian-Westlake Village arrived at Edison High on Saturday night as the No. 16 seed in the CIF Southern California Regional Division I girls basketball playoffs.
But as Tigers coach Bill Engel was quick to note, the Lions were not the typical 16th seed.
Oaks Christian raced out to a 16-point first-half lead and held off Edison’s second-half rally for a 50-43 victory.
The Lions, who are ranked No. 20 in the state by Cal-High Sports and No. 25 by Maxpreps, competed in the Southern Section’s Open Division, but after losing in the second round they were dumped into Division I for the state playoffs.
Oaks Christian (22-8) advanced to Saturday’s game by beating top-seeded Bishop’s-La Jolla 57-53 on Wednesday in the first round. Bishop’s is ranked 12th in the state by Cal-Hi Sports and No. 29 by Maxpreps.
Let’s get this out of the way first: That’s a real good team. That’s the No. 20 team in the state, not a 16 seed.
Edison girls basketball coach Bill Engel on Oaks Christian-Westlake Village, a Southern Section Open Division team ranked No. 20 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports
“Let’s get this out of the way first: That’s a real good team,” Engel said. “That’s the No. 20 team in the state, not a 16 seed.”
Behind Roxy Barahman, the Lions looked like one of the state’s best teams for the first 16 minutes.
Oaks Christian used a 14-0 run in the first quarter to open a 16-4 lead. The Lions were up 24-8 at halftime.
“We couldn’t throw it in the ocean in the first half,” Engel said.
Central Section Division I runner-up Edison (28-5) switched to a man defense in the second half, outscoring the Lions 18-13 in the third quarter to make it an 11-point game.
The Tigers cut the deficit to 46-41 on a pair of Ramani Parker free throws with 2 minutes left, but that’s as close as Edison would get.
“I thought that gave them fits,” Engel said of the switch to man defense. “Maybe I should have gone to that earlier. That’s on the coach.
“But I’m proud of how we battled. They didn’t give up. They made a game of it.”
Rodjanae Wade scored 14 points, while Parker and Malaya Kendrick each added 10 for Edison.
Barahman’s 19 points paced Oaks Christian, which will play at Vista Murrieta-Murrieta in the semifinals at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The fourth-seeded Broncos beat No. 5 Serra-Gardena 69-66.
Soccer – South’s boys became the first Central Section soccer program to win a CIF Southern California Regional with a 1-0 victory over Granada Hills in the Division II final.
The fourth-seeded Rebels (28-2-4) rode a goal from Jesus Barajas off an assist from Alexis Rivas in the 30th minute to the landmark victory against the No. 3 Highlanders (23-3-3).
The section’s 10 previous finalists included boys teams McFarland (2015, 2012), Farmersville (2014), Lindsay (2012), Buchanan (2011), Bullard (2009) and Avenal (2008), as well as girls teams Strathmore (2015), Bullard (2011) and Buchanan (2009).