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Jesse Howell's shot in overtime lifts Sierra Canyon to 5A title

The Sierra Canyon 6-foot-6 junior makes the only field goal of overtime for a 48-45 victory over Van Nuys Montclair Prep in the Southern Section Division 5A final.

March 04, 2011|Eric Sondheimer

A calm, cool, confident player is just what a coach needs in a championship game, and 6-foot-6 junior Jesse Howell delivered Friday night for Chatsworth Sierra Canyon, making the only basket in overtime on a 15-foot jump shot to help the Trailblazers defeat Alpha League rival Van Nuys Montclair Prep, 48-45, in the Southern Section Division 5A championship game at Santa Ana Mater Dei.

Sierra Canyon (25-5), in its sixth year of competing in high school sports, won its first boys' title by overcoming the effective strategy deployed by Montclair Prep of using switching defenses while slowing down the game and depriving the Trailblazers the chance to score on fastbreaks.

"I don't think it could have gone any better," Montclair Prep Coach Greg Patterson said. "We just didn't hit our shots."

Regulation ended in a 44-44 deadlock. Howell, who scored 13 points and made six of 12 shots, contributed his overtime basket with 2 minutes 37 seconds left. The Mounties (23-9) struggled after that. Then Jahmel Taylor made two free throws with 12.3 seconds left for a 48-44 lead. With 4.8 seconds left, Daniel Cohen missed the front end of a one-and-one, and the Mounties tried to make a tying shot, but the half-court attempt by Trey Dickerson hit the rim.

Taylor, a sophomore guard who came in averaging 21.6 points, did not shoot well in Mater Dei's arena setting. He was five for 17 but finished with a team-high 16 points. Charles Lockett Jr. led Montclair Prep with 20 points and 13 rebounds.

"We like to run up and down the court and were struggling to push the tempo," Sierra Canyon Coach Ryan Silver said.

Enter the experienced Howell, who was a member of last season's team that lost in the final to Ojai Besant Hill.

"We came through in the clutch," Howell said.

Harbor City Narbonne 74, L.A. University 56: In the City Section Division II final, the Gauchos cruised to victory. Shailo Leafa had 20 points.

Redlands Adventist 61, Los Angeles Arshag Dickranian 42: Mikael Anderson had 18 points and Tino Mkorombindo added 15 points in the 6A boys' final.

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