BELLARMINE-JEFFERSON HIGH — The Bellarmine-Jefferson High girls' basketball team played with an energy and excitement Thursday night that permeated throughout its home gym.
The Guards started strong, never let up and rolled to a 70-40 victory over Louisville in a CIF Southern Section Division IV-AA first-round matchup.
Bell-Jeff (21-7), the No. 6 seed, will move on to the second round of the playoffs. The Guards will take on No. 11 Pasadena Poly at 7 p.m. Saturday at a site to be determined. The Panthers (22-4) defeated El Segundo, 72-33, in an opening-round game Thursday.
But until then, the Guards will enjoy their victory.
"We had to come out and take this game very seriously," said Guards Coach Jaclyn Johnson, who acknowledged that every playoff game is tough. "Louisville is a solid team, and we have to take this thing step by step. Win or go home."
Johnson sited her team's enthusiasm as a one of the biggest positives as they advance to face more formidable opponents. She particularly focused on the unselfish play from her athletes.