Last year, the Eagles failed to capture the CIF-SS Division 2 Championship. However, they captured something even bigger: the CIF Division 2 State Championship.

And this year, it looks as if they might repeat.

The Chaminade girls’ team is off to a terrific start. They have started the season 17-2. Their only two losses have come against Long Beach Poly and St. Ignatius (San Francisco). MaxPreps ranks them as the second best basketball team in the nation, behind only Mater Dei (Santa Ana).

However, Chaminade has played Mater Dei, and won, 60-59, in the Palisades Beach Invitational Championship.

Chaminade has benefited from the 1-2 punch of Leaonna Odom and Valerie Higgins, both standout juniors.

This dynamic duo was made possible by Odom’s relocation: Leaonna transferred from Mater Dei to Chaminade this fall. The 6-foot-1 forward was a welcome surprise this year for headcoach Kelli DiMuro, who put her straight to work.

“Odom just looks like an All-American, and that’s exactly what we got,” DiMuro told

Leaonna excels in the classroom as well as on the court, earning a 3.7 GPA.

Odom leads the team in scoring (16.1 points per game) and contributes 6.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. She is definitely a leading candidate for the Mission League’s Most Valuable Player.

Valerie Higgins has been making her own case for MVP with her tremendous all-around play. After leading last year’s squad to a state championship as a sophomore, she has improved her game even further.

Higgins averages 14.5 points, 9.9 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 5.5 steals and 1.6 blocks per game. Her play on both offense and defense has been phenomenal, leading the Eagles to an undefeated 3-0 start in league play.

Both Odom and Higgins have been recruited by many big name schools, including UCLA and USC, and both girls have received offers from Duke and Louisville.

Will this duo capture a few state titles, and then play at the college level together? Stay tuned …