Firehawks girls beat Cal Lutheran in a Hawks-vs-Hawks playoff opener

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BP Photo by Alex Rubel

BOARD: Senior center Elianna Kupferman secures an offensive rebound in the Firehawks’ 64-28 over the Cal Lutheran C-Hawks Feb. 13. Shalhevet has advanced to the second round of the CIF Division 4A playoffs, and will face off against Mary Star of the Sea on Monday night at the Shalhevet gym.

Alex Rubel and Caleb Fishman

The Firehawk girls basketball team powered to a comfortable victory Thursday night over California Lutheran High School, of Riverside County, defeating the C-Hawks 64-28 in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division 4A playoffs. 

Playing in its home gym, Shalhevet came out strong from the get-go, jolting to a 12-0 scoring run to start the game. Dominant throughout, they led by as much as 39 in the fourth quarter against the C-Hawks, who drove 85 miles from Wildomar, California — near Lake Elsinore — to play them.

“We just played basketball,” Shalhevet Athletic Coordinator Coach Jeff Remer told the Boiling Point after the game. 

After the win, Shalhevet is set to play the Stars of Mary Star of the Sea, a Catholic school with about 500 students, located in San Pedro, on Monday night in the Shalhevet gym. That game was originally set for Saturday night but was moved to Monday, President’s Day, since it originally conflicted with the boys playoff game at Westlake. 

There are five rounds in the CIF Southern Section Division 4A playoffs: first round, second round, quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals.  Tomorrow’s game is a second-round matchup.

That second-round game is expected to be more challenging for Shalhevet.  

“Mary Star is a very solid team, and they play some tough teams in their division,” said Coach Remer, who led the Firehawk girls last season. 

Coach Remer said he expects good competition Monday night from the 18-9 Stars. But the Firehawks hope their talented starting five and seven-senior core — in addition to team camaraderie — will propel it deep into the Division 4A playoffs. Exactly a year ago, they made it to the semi-final round, but lost to Bloomington Christian 52-48 in overtime. 

“If we want to win, we have to take all of the hours of practice and intensity and apply it on game day,” said sophomore center Talia Tizabi.