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Windward wins Open Division regional girls' basketball title

The Wildcats remain unbeaten with an 81-71 victory over the Monarchs and will play Bishop O'Dowd for the state title.

March 16, 2013|By Eric Sondheimer and Melissa Rohlin
  • Mater Dei's Peyton Langston knocks the ball from Winward's Kristen Simon in the second half of the CIF Southern California Regional Open Division championship game Saturday at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario.
Mater Dei's Peyton Langston knocks the ball from Winward's… (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)

For those who have never seen what a No. 1 team in the country looks like, go watch the Los Angeles Windward girls' basketball team.

Thirty-two consecutive victories. A guard duo destined for the college ranks. A point guard whom commentators one day will be talking about on ESPN.

It's all there and more for the unbeaten Wildcats (32-0), who shot the ball so well Saturday night it was as if they were playing in a gym instead of a challenging arena setting en route to an 81-71 victory over Santa Ana Mater Dei in the CIF Southern California Open Division championship game at Citizens Business Bank Arena.

Jordin Canada, the No. 1 junior point guard in the land, put on a show, scoring 17 points and getting 14 assists. USC-bound Courtney Jaco made six three-pointers, giving her 408 in her career. She finished with 26 points. Macchiati Smith had 17 points. Kristen Simon had 14 points and 17 rebounds.

Katie Lou Samuelson led Mater Dei (30-2) with 23 points.

"Jordin is a great player," Jaco said. "She's always looking to pass first and she found me a lot."

Windward will play Oakland Bishop O'Dowd in Saturday's 6 p.m. state final in Sacramento.

Division I

Four-time state champion Long Beach Poly has fought back from an early elimination in the Southern Section 1AA playoffs to reach the state Division I final after a 63-40 victory over Moreno Valley Canyon Springs.

The Jackrabbits (29-5) were led by 5-foot-6 sophomore Tania Lamb, who made three of five shots from three-point range and finished with 16 points. Jada Matthews added 10 for the Jackrabbits, who will face longtime foe Berkeley in Friday's 6 p.m. final in a matchup of two of the state's premier programs.

Poly has suddenly gotten hot from three-point range. The Jackrabbits made nine in the semifinals and seven on Saturday, led by Lamb.

"She can shoot like that," Coach Carl Buggs said. "She's been hot lately. She always plays great defense."

Division II

Defensive pressure helped produce 22 turnovers and propelled Lynwood (29-5) to a 60-42 victory over Bakersfield Ridgeview in the Division II final.

Alize Lofton led Lynwood to its 24th consecutive victory, contributing 16 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Amber Blockmon and Priscilla Lopez added 15 points apiece. Lynwood led by as many as 26 points and avenged a two-point loss to Ridgeview this season.

Erica McCall, the 6-3 Gatorade state player of the year, had 19 points and 11 rebounds for Ridgeview. She made just eight of 25 shots. She finishes with state records for most blocks in a season (278) and a career (950).

Division III

Mission Hills Alemany defeated Mission League rival West Hills Chaminade, 60-47, in the Division III final.

Hannah Johnson finished with 15 points on seven-for-15 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds for the Warriors. Leslie Lopez Wood added 15 points.

Division IV

Senior guard Siera Thompson contributed 24 points, making nine of 10 free throws, to spark Gardena Serra past Playa del Rey St. Bernard, 63-54, in the Division IV final. Tatiana Howard controlled the boards with 13 rebounds.

Division V

Kennedy Burke, a 6-0 sophomore, scored 28 points and had 24 rebounds in Chatsworth Sierra Canyon's 63-62 Division V victory over San Diego Horizon. Cheyanne Wallace added 20 points and 18 rebounds.

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