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Basketball Wilson

CIF Basketball: Wilson Headed To First Final Since 2000


Since the CIF-SS playoffs began, Wilson girls basketball coach Erin Carey has said that the Bruins had something to prove after a disappointing season and getting no love in the preseason polls.

Even after dominating wins in the first three rounds of the playoffs, Carey continued to say that Wilson “wasn’t done yet” and they are ready to do whatever it takes to win a CIF championship.

The Bruins (24-8) took another step toward redemption Saturday night at West Covina when Wilson defeated the Bulldogs 67-50 to advance to the CIF Division 3A championship against Eisenhower.

“We’re not done yet,” Carey said after the Bruins victory. “We’re ready. We’re chomping, we’re drooling. My kids are so ready for this. I’ve been kind of a hard-nosed coach and there were probably days where they probably wanted me to quit and get out of their head. And I’ve just been pushing them, and we have the type of players that can handle that and they just need someone to push it out of them.”

Junior Arielle Hines led the way for the Bruins early as Wilson found themselves in a first quarter dog fight against the Bulldogs.

Taking advantage of her inside game, Hines scored eight points as Wilson took a 15-14 lead after the opening period.

After West Covina took a 23-19 lead early in the second quarter, junior Ashley Hawkins turned it on as she scored seven points with two threes to give the Bruins a 32-31 lead at halftime.

“I’m super competitive,” Hawkins said. “And I just want to win and I want my group of girls to win and I feel like since they’re all on board, they know ‘hey we got to do this, this is our time.’”

West Covina’s Nikki Thompson scored 12 points in the first half, but after was held to only one point in the second half as the Bruins made adjustments at halftime.

Part of those adjustments involved sophomore Sydney Ross pressuring the ball and making life difficult anytime Thompson touched the ball.

“No matter what my team looks up to me to bring that tenacious attitude all the time,” Ross said. “So, it doesn’t matter if it’s a big game or not I will always bring that energy and my team needs it and they feed off of it.”

Along with her stellar defense, Ross added eight points. Ross wasn’t the only underclassmen to have a stellar game. Freshman Laurin Tiangco also had three crucial threes on her way to nine points in the game.

Senior Samiya Terry scored 13 points after getting things going in the second half.

Now with a week before the championship, Carey will look to prepare the team for the big game.

“All year long I don’t worry about our opponent,” Carey said. “It’s really about what we can do. We need to make some adjustments.”

VIDEO: Wilson vs West Covina CIF Basketball

Mike Guardabascio
An LBC native, Mike Guardabascio has been covering Long Beach sports professionally for 13 years, with his work published in dozens of Southern California magazines and newspapers. He's won numerous awards for his writing as well as the CIF Southern Section’s Champion For Character Award, and is the author of three books about Long Beach history.