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Girls' basketball: Serra wins rematch with Windward

March 13, 2012 |  8:16 pm

The highly-anticipated rematch between Gardena Serra and Los Angeles Windward turned out to be one-sided. 

Having gotten upset 82-77 in three overtimes in the CIF Southern California Division 4AA finals February 29 in Anaheim, Windward was without starting post players Imani Stafford and Kristen Simon on Tuesday night and saw its season end in a 80-58 loss in the Southern California Regional semifinals at Los Angeles Southwest College.

Serra led by seven at halftime and opened the third-quarter on a 19-4 run to build an insurmountable lead. Rejane Verin had 23 points, Siera Thompson had 15 and Deandra Toler had 14 for the second-seeded Cavaliers (30-3), who advanced to the regional finals Saturday at Colony High in Ontario against the winner of the other Division IV semifinal between No. 1 La Jolla Country Day and No. 4 Playa del Rey St. Bernard.

Jordin Canada and Courtney Jaco had 13 points apiece for the defending Southern Section and state champion Wildcats (29-5), who trailed 34-27 at halftime. Canada swished a three-pointer at the buzzer from well beyond the three-point arc to pull Windward within 18-12 at the end of the first quarter.

Simon, who watched from the bench, said afterwards that she and Stafford were sick with the flu. Coach Steve Smith, however, said in a text it was a "personal and private matter" and could not talk about it.

-- Steve Galluzzo