Panthers ready for round 2

first_imgDiamond Ranch (27-1) won the Division III-AA title last season. The Panthers shifted divisions this season and are the No. 2 seed year. But lack of respect continues to fuel the program, according to Spirlin, who said his players still feel like they have something to prove. “My girls, they’re on a natural high,” he explained. “You look at CIF and they seed us second. Maxpreps doesn’t even has ranked in the top eight or nine. I kinda look at it and say, ” `What do you have to do?’ “You keep playing. You tell the girls to keep playing and don’t worry about all that. Something good is bound to come out of it.” Diamond Ranch has been led by All-Area standout Nina Earl, who will join Bishop Amat’s Candice Brown at UCLA next season. Diamond Ranch High School girls basketball coach Vince Spirlin is hoping for a little deja vu tonight when his team visits Norco in the semifinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division II-AA playoffs. The Panthers downed Norco, 64-53, at the start of the season in the Colony Tournament. Almost three months later, the teams play tonight at Santiago High (Corona) for a berth in Saturday’s championship. Tip-off is 7:30. “They’re a good, fundamentally sound team,” Spirlin said. “They’re well-coached, so you have to bring your `A’ game. There’s no slouching, every possession counts.” center_img Earl is averaging 21.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. But the team’s success has come from more than just her. Center Diane Ortiz scored 23 points in her team’s quarterfinal win over Monrovia. Ortiz is not even the team’s second-leading scorer. Guard Eliza Dy has complemented Earl all season in averaging 13.3 points per game. “It gives us another option,” Spirlin said of Ortiz’s emergence. “It has the other coach worried about the other option we have now.” The Panthers have won 17 consecutive games since a December loss to Bishop Montgomery in the Ayala Tournament. Norco has won 24 consecutive games, including an undefeated run in the Mountain View League. [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2233 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img