In a stunner, the Fountain Valley High girls’ basketball squad cobbled together a highly-productive opening half, and scored just enough in the second half to fend off host Burroughs in a CIF Southern Section Division 1-A first-round playoff game last Saturday night, 61-57.
Fountain Valley junior point guard Danielle Kennedy had a magical evening as she dumped in a team-best 19 points, and was the undisputed floor leader.
Kennedy tallied five points in the fourth quarter, including three points at the free-throw line, while a pair of three-pointers by senior shooting guard Jasmine Matar (eight points) gave the Barons a 56-52 lead with about a minute to play.
Kennedy had 12 points in the first half as Fountain Valley (12-15) opened a 15-11 lead after one quarter, led 35-20 at the half after making 15 of 25 shots (60 percent) from the floor, and hit 37.5 percent (nine of 24) in the second half.
“It’s a huge factor that we play in the Sunset League,’’ said Fountain Valley Head Coach Cory Clarke, whose club had a 3-7 mark and was fourth in the league. “We have to play some of the best teams like Edison, Huntington Beach and Los Alamitos.”
Burroughs tied it at 50-50 with less than two minutes left when senior center Aysia Shellmire scored, but the Indians were then outscored, 11-7, the rest of the way.
“I think we missed like 20 layups in the first half,’’ said Burroughs Head Coach Vicky Oganyan. “I knew it was a tough draw even though we had a better record. Fountain Valley has been through this before. They have seniors who have been in the playoffs. We really only have one [Aysia].”
Shellmire closed out her career with a game-high 24 points, including 21 in the second half.
The Indians (23-5) couldn’t find their shooting touch during much of the fray, hitting 27.7 percent (20 of 72).
Junior shooting guard Sidney Ortega had nine of her 14 points in the opening half for the Indians, who shot 31.5 percent (12 of 38) in the second half, and trailed 48-36 after three quarters.
Burroughs, which finished tied for first in the Pacific League at 12-2, was outrebounded by Fountain Valley, 25-13, in the first half, but edged the Barons, 31-13, on the glass over the last 16 minutes.
Junior power forward Emily Krause had 13 points for the Barons, and senior center Kelcie Mayott added 12.