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Girls basketball: Harvard-Westlake’s Bella Spencer, Deanna Thompson off to ‘strong’ start

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When Bella Spencer and Deanna Thompson were asked how much they weight they squat, they smiled and looked at each other. Neither wanted to answer the question.

Then Spencer quietly volunteered the numbers.

“We both deadlift 300 pounds. I squat 240,” she said with a shy grin.

Spencer and Thompson are sophomore girls basketball players at Harvard-Westlake (10-3). Those numbers are impressive, but their skills are, too.

“They’re playing with confidence right now,” Harvard-Westlake coach Melissa Hearlihy said. “Thompson is able to continue what she did last year (as a freshman). Bella is a guard, but she’s playing big for us right now.”

The tandem are the core of the Wolverines’ future.

Spencer had 13 points and nine rebounds in the Wolverines’ most recent 65-55 win over Crescenta Valley with most of her points coming from the low post. The 5-foot-9 sophomore would catch the ball, thunder down a two-handed hammer dribble and shoot a small touch shot over her left shoulder.

Crescenta Valley had no answers.

“It’s my go-to move right now. It’s working,” said Spencer, who’s averaging 11.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. “I’m going to stick with it and evolve my game from there.”

Thompson, who is the team’s most dynamic perimeter player, is averaging a team-high 12.6 points with 6.3 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game. She’s generally tasked to guard the opposition’s best player, too.

“It’s an honor to guard the other team’s best player,” Thompson said.

The team has just one senior in Jordyn Call, a sharpshooter that poured in 19 points (with three 3s) in the win over Crescenta Valley. Jamie Yue is a speedy junior point guard averaging 4.6 assists per game and Valentina Guerrero is averaging 10.4 points per game as a freshman.

The future is bright.

“We want everyone to be involved, it’s not just one person,” Spencer said. “That’s a big factor to our success.”

Harvard-Westlake will start Mission League play against Sierra Canyon at home on January 3. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.

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