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CIF-Southern Section Division 1AA Girls Basketball Championship
At Azusa Pacific University
Long Beach Millikan (24-4) vs. Bonita (29-2), Noon
PREVIEW: Just how good is third-seed Long Beach Millikan (24-4), who will take on top-seed Bonita (29-2) in the CIF-Southern Section Division 1AA girls basketball championship game at Azusa Pacific Saturday at noon?
Millikan’s only four losses have come against teams in the prestigious Open Division final four, losing to Moore League rival Long Beach Poly twice, and losing to Mater Dei and Windward, who will play for the Open Division title Friday night.
But there’s a flip side to tough scheduling, and in Millikan’s case, it lost both games to Long Beach Poly by an average of 37 points, and was blown out by Mater Dei and Windward by double-digits as well.
“That’s the first thing you notice is how difficult their (Millikan) preseason was,” Bonita coach Darren Baumunk said. “They played those teams (Mater Dei and Windward) early in the season and of course Long Beach Poly is always good. It’s going to be difficult, they’re big, they go after you in the paint, and just like us, they beat some good teams to get to the final, so you’ve got to be ready.”
Millikan knocked off Century League champion Brea Olinda 63-59 in the semifinals while Bonita took over in the fourth quarter to surge past fourth-seed Great Oak, 56-49.
Bonita, of course, is led by its dynamic duo of UNLV-bound guards Nikki Wheatley, the two-time area player of the year, and senior transfer Kandyce Smith, who was clutch in the semifinal win over Great Oak with 22 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter.
BELOW: Here’s a look at Long Beach Millikan, who Bonita girls basketball will face in Saturday’s Division 1AA title game at APU at Noon