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Windward Hoops Earns Rematch with Serra

The Wildcats defeat La Jolla Bishop's in the quarterfinals of the regional playoffs.

Two wins into the CIF state playoffs, Windward School's girls basketball team finally has what it wanted all along: a chance at redemption.

Ever since the Wildcats were upset by Gardena Serra, 82-77, in triple overtime in the Southern Section Division 4AA championship game, they have been itching for a rematch. Now they'll get it after crushing La Jolla Bishop's 70-31 at home last Saturday night in the Southern California Regional Division IV quarterfinals.

Windward (29-4) has outscored its first two regional playoff opponents 168-52 and Coach Steve Smith's squad, the defending Division IV state champion, will travel to L.A. Southwest College on Tuesday night to play Gardena Serra, which toppled the Southern Section 4A runner-up Brentwood, 91-45, in its quarterfinal game Saturday.

The Cavaliers (29-3) shocked defending champion Windward to claim the Southern Section title at the Anaheim Convention Center. Once again, the third-seeded Wildcats will try to defeat second-seeded Serra on a neutral court. The game will tip-off at 6 p.m. as part of a double-header, to be followed at 7:30 p.m. by the Serra-Pacific Hills boys Division IV semifinal. 

The Windward-Serra survivor advances to the regional final Saturday night at Colony High School in Ontario, where it will meet the winner between No. 4 Playa del Rey St. Bernard, which reached the semifinals of the CIF-SS 4AA bracket, and top-seeded La Jolla Country Day, the San Diego Section Division IV champion.   

The Wildcats' depth was once again on display against the sixth-seeded Knights (20-10), who lost to Country Day in the section finals before defeating Southern Section 4A semifinalist Santa Fe Springs St. Paul 64-36 in the first round of the regionals.

Jordin Canada, Courtney Jaco, Troye Mosley, Kristen Simon, Paris Baird and center Imani Stafford continue to pace Windward's attack with help from Macchiati Smith, Carol Powell, Amelia Goldstein and Emily Surloff.

Here are Tuesday's CIF Southern California Regional Division IV semifinal matchups:

No. 4 Playa del Rey St. Bernard (Southern 4AA semifinalist) at No. 1 La Jolla Country Day (San Diego IV champion)

No. 3 Los Angeles Windward (Southern 4AA runner-up) vs. No. 2 Gardena Serra (Southern 4AA champion) at L.A. Southwest College

Note: Regional finals, Saturday, March 17 at Colony High in Ontario; State championships, March 24 at Power Balance Pavilion in Sacramento.

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