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Guards survive thriller

Girls' basketball: Bell-Jeff runs league winning streak to 32 games after hard-fought victory against St. Anthony.

January 19, 2012|BY JEFF TULLY, jeff.tully@latimes.com

St. Anthony was able to take a 60-58 lead with 1:33 left in the contest when sophomore Sierra Skiba scored on a driving layup.

But Bell-Jeff answered and tied the score at 60 when senior Kiah Jones scored under the basket and was fouled. Jones missed the free-throw attempt, but Bell-Jeff's smallest player, 5-2 Tiffany Kho, skied in to grab the rebound. She got the ball to Napier who made good on a pull-up jumper at the top of the free-throw line to put Bell-Jeff in front, 62-60.

"That rebound by Tiffany was humongous," Johnson said. "That was such a big play for us."

The Guards then gave the Saints a break when St. Anthony senior Raquel Johnson was fouled with 12.6 seconds left. But she missed both attempts and Bell-Jeff got the rebound, forcing the Saints to foul Napier, who took care of the rest.

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Cooper ended the game with 19 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks. Johnson added 15.

Cooper hurt the Guards early, scoring eight points and tallying six rebounds and two steals in the first quarter. However, The Guards clamped down on her in the second and third quarters, limiting the junior to four points.

Bell-Jeff trailed, 14-12, after one quarter and fell behind, 27-25, at the half. The hosts also trailed by one after three quarters, 47-46.

"We showed some poise, but not great poise," Jaclyn Johnson said. "We are going to have to play better against them the next time at their place."

The rematch will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 7 at St. Anthony.

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