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Pinewood's Marissa Hing (3) plays defense in a West Bay Athletic League Foothill Division basketball game in East Palo Alto, Calif., Friday, Feb. 7, 2014. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

Here's a Division V girls rite of spring: When Pinewood plays Brookside Christian of Stockton on Saturday, it will mark the 13th time in Doc Scheppler's 19 years as head coach that Pinewood has played for the Northern California Division V championship.

The Panthers are 7-5 in NorCal final games and have gone on to win five state titles.

To get by No. 1 seed Brookside Christian (28-4), No. 2 Pinewood will need to take care of the ball against Brookside's trapping pressure. The Pilots have 443 steals in 32 games this season, an average of more than 13 per game.

"It creates havoc on the court," Scheppler said of a style that has become popular with top girls teams such as Miramonte and Carondelet. "If we can play with poise and composure, minimize turnovers and shoot a reasonable percentage, we can win."

Few teams emphasize the 3-point shot the way Pinewood does. The Panthers have attempted 878 3-point field goals this season opposed to 866 2-pointers. They're making 32 percent of their 3s and 49 percent of their 2s. Scheppler all but bans the midrange jumper.

"We've shot maybe one 15-footer all year," he said.

Junior point guard Marissa Hing leads Pinewood in scoring at 12.4 points per game. Leanna Bade averages 9.8, Gabi Bade 8.5 and Monique McDevitt 8.0. Sophomore Chloe Eackles averages 6.8 points and a team-high 7.2 rebounds per game.

"I like our team," Scheppler said. "We present problems."

Pinewood will be at a significant height disadvantage. Eackles and Leanna Bade are its tallest players at 5-foot-9. Brookside is led by 6-1 junior Ra'Kyra Gabriel, who averages 14.6 points and 9.4 rebounds. Three other players average double figures: junior Ariana Vaughn (11.8), freshman Sydney Fryer (11.5) and freshman Kiara Manipol (10.6).

But the size disparity doesn't concern Scheppler as much as the potential for ballhandling mistakes.

"Teams that play straight-up man so that we can run our sets, we can beat anybody around," Scheppler said. "Teams that double-team and trap and get the ball out of our point guard's hands can cause us problems. If we can get our shots, I like our chances."

So it comes down to the biggest game of the season, and it takes place Saturday at 10 a.m. at American Canyon High. Scheppler has been preparing for that possibility all season.

"We've had probably 15 practices at 10 a.m.," he said, citing Saturdays and school vacations. "We'll get them up at 6. The bus leaves at 7."