Eagles Womens Basketball Defeats Citrus, Advance To The SoCal Regional Finals

Eagles Women’s Basketball Defeats Citrus, Advance To The SoCal Regional Finals

After earning a first-round bye, the Eagles automatically advanced to the second round as the fifth seed and hosted 12-seed Citrus Owls. In coach Taylor Bell’s first season as the Eagles’ women’s basketball coach, the Eagles went 22-5. They maintained that same level of production the Eagles had over the past decade under championship-winning coach Chris Mozga. 

“The rich tradition of this women’s basketball program, Chris Mozga won a state championship and always had a winning program, so I credit him the most and my assistants for recruiting girls that love the game and want to play hard and give their all for 40 minutes.” Coach Bell, who he credits for the first-year success. 

Against the Owls, the Eagles opened the game on a 10-0 run with two three-pointers, one from Valeria Brewer and one from Drasoni Kyles. That opening sequence set the tone for what the game ultimately became. The Eagles led 29-18 at the end of the first quarter. The Eagles began to put away the Owls in the second quarter, taking a 41-18 lead after a 14-0 run. The Eagles went into halftime with a 56-26 lead and outscored the Owls 27-8 in the second quarter. The Eagles minimized the Owl’s offense by forcing multiple turnovers, winning the rebound battle 25-8, and taking advantage of the opportunities from the rebounds and turnovers. The Eagles made six three-pointers, and Breyonna Bell and Jana Roman scored 16 and 12 points in the first half. 

Hugo Aguilar

“We don’t want to go home. The mindset is live or die, and we didn’t want to go home.” Breyonna Bell said on the Eagles’ fast start and on keeping that momentum going. “This game was that boost to keep us forward instead of going back.”

The Eagles, who had a massive 56-26 lead over the Owls, just needed to hold onto their lead to advance to the SoCal Regional Finals. The Eagles did just that as they similarly opened the third quarter as they did in the first two quarters. The Eagles extended their lead 74-36 in the third quarter to seal the deal. The Eagles held onto their lead through the fourth quarter and won 84-54 against the Owls. Breyonna Bell led the Eagles in scoring with 28 points and five three-pointers, Jana Roman led the Eagles in rebounds with 17, and Drasoni Kyles led the Eagles in assists with seven. Roman also had 18 points, which gave her a double-double.  

“I think I could’ve done a lot better with making my layups for the most part, but I did good with my threes.” Breyonna Bell on her 28-point performance. 

“They executed the game plan, and they came out here with a lot of energy and were ready to play,” Coach Bell said of the team’s performance. “I told them before the game to not have regrets, win or loss, just go out and play as hard as you can like it’s your last game.”

Hugo Aguilar

With the win, the Eagles will travel to Costa Mesa to face four-seed Orange Coast (26-3) in the Regional Final as they look to add another 3C2A State Championship. The Eagles will look to carry over the same momentum from this matchup against Citrus to their matchup against Orange Coast. When asked about the upcoming game, coach Bell said, “It’s going to be a tough game. We’re going to have to value each possession, and it starts on the defensive end in forcing them into tough shots, staying in front, walling up, and making it tough for them.” He continued, “We’re very good offensively, and I think if we get stops, we can make some plays and see what happens.” 

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