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Upset puts Bell-Jeff into semifinals

Girls' basketball: Napier pours in 34 points to pace No. 6 Guards to win against No. 3 Chaminade on the road.

February 22, 2012|BY JEFF TULLY, jeff.tully@latimes.com

"We knew coming in what Chaminade liked to do," she said. "We watched video and we knew they weren't very comfortable against the zone and we wanted to pressure and try to make them take strong outside shots. They hit some, but they definitely struggled at other times. That worked to our advantage."

Chaminade did experience shooting woes in the first half, as the team was just eight of 32 (25%) from the field. After taking a 2-0 lead to begin the game, the Eagles never enjoyed a lead the remainder of the contest.

Napier took control of the game early, hitting two three-pointers en rout to her 14 points in the first stanza. That helped the Guards take a 13-11 lead.

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Tarakchian did her part for the Eagles in the second quarter, scoring all of her squad's 11 points. However, Smith (17 points, 11 rebounds) tallied seven in the second and Bell-Jeff took a 34-26 lead into halftime.

After a challenging first two quarters, Chaminade came out and converted its first three field goals in the third. When Mi'Chael Write scored on a layup at the 6:54 mark, the Guards' lead was down to one, 34-33. But Bell-Jeff weathered the storm and built its advantage back up to seven after three quarters, 48-41.

The Guards again had to stave off an Eagles surge in the fourth. Cassie MacLeod tipped in a missed shot with 2:14 left and Chaminade was within four, 58-54. But again Bell-Jeff held firm, as Napier converted free throws down the stretch to secure the win.

"Some of the things Rishonda can do on the court baffles me," Smith said. "She surprises me every single games. She's just amazing."

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