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Orange Lutheran beats Los Angeles Windward, 78-71, for Southern Section Division 4AA title

Lancers overcome three-point deficit entering the fourth quarter, getting big games from James Douglas (27 points, nine rebounds) and Gabe York (22 points).

March 02, 2011|By Steve Galluzzo

Despite trailing by three points heading into the fourth quarter of the Southern Section Division 4AA championship game Wednesday night, the Orange Lutheran High boys' basketball team didn't panic. Instead, the adversity only strengthened the Lancers' resolve and their mental toughness showed down the stretch in a 78-71 victory over Los Angeles Windward at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Senior guard James Douglas made four free throws in the final minute to keep top-seeded Orange Lutheran ahead after the Wildcats had pulled to within four points. Douglas finished with 27 points, nine rebounds and six assists, junior guard Gabe York had 22 points and sophomore center Payton Banks added 13 points, six rebounds and three assists for the Lancers (26-6), who learned what it takes to win after falling to Los Angeles Price, 73-70, in last year's final.

"We work on free throws every day in practice so I was ready to knock them down," Douglas said. "Our tempo was really good to start the game, but we knew they would make a run at us and we just had to withstand it. We knew we had to win the rebounding battle and we did."

Senior wingman Wesley Saunders had 24 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and five blocks and Nick Stover added 19 points and 12 rebounds for the second-seeded Wildcats (23-8), who trailed, 24-6, with 51 seconds left in the first quarter but cut the deficit to 42-32 at halftime. Windward outscored the Lancers, 22-9, in the third quarter and took a 54-51 lead into the final eight minutes when Saunders swatted Douglas' last-second jumper out of bounds.

"The kids stepped up and made big shots in the last four minutes," Orange Lutheran Coach Chris Nordstrom said. "Gabe, JD and Payton all played huge and our clock management was good at the end. Once we got breathing room we used a lot of time and really made the most of our possessions."

In other games at the Anaheim Convention Center:

Girls' Division 4AA

Windward made amends for its loss in the Division 4A final last year, using its size and depth advantages to overwhelm Torrance Bishop Montgomery, 68-46. Four players scored in double digits for the top-seeded Wildcats (25-4). Freshman guard Jordin Canada had 14 points and seven assists, Imani Stafford had 12 points and 11 rebounds, Kristen Simon had 11 points and 11 rebounds and guard Courtney Jaco added 10 points.

Kristen Ale had 16 points and five rebounds and Chelsey Aaron had 11 points and three assists for the second-seeded Knights (22-10), who were outrebounded, 54-26. The Knights cut the deficit to 42-34 in the first 30 seconds of the fourth quarter, but Windward responded with a 5-0 run.

Girls' Division 6A

Top-seeded Rolling Hills Prep raced to a 12-2 lead in the first quarter and never looked back, routing Redlands Adventist Academy, 65-26. Freshman point guard Peyton Langston had 28 points and four steals and sophomore center Mar-jana Phillips added 25 points, 14 rebounds and five steals for the Huskies (19-3), who won their four playoff games by an average of 41.9 points.

Brianna Felipe scored 14 points and Ariana Casano added seven points, 10 rebounds, three assists and two blocks for the second-seeded Bulldogs (19-6). Redlands Adventist Academy made 10 of 56 shots.

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