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Anaheim Canyon rallies from 28-point deficit to win 2AA title

Eric Sondheimer
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Anaheim Canyon wins division title after trailing by 28 points

In the history of Southern Section championship basketball games, the improbable scene that unfolded Saturday afternoon in the Division 2AA title game at the Honda Center is going to be hard to top.

Down by 28 points in the third quarter and down by 22 points to start the fourth quarter, Anaheim Canyon rallied to defeat Lawndale, 103-98, in double overtime.

"That's as much heart as you're ever going to see," Canyon Coach Nate Harrison said.

It was the first 100-point game in Southern Section championship history. It was the most combined points in championship history. It was the most points by a losing team in championship history.

Through three quarters, Lawndale played about as well as it could. The Cardinals made 28 of 41 shots. They seemed to be in cruise control. But Canyon refused to give up.

"I felt we were never out of the game," said guard Nick Anderson, who finished with 37 points.

Missed free throws, repeated fouls and turnovers enabled the Comanches (23-9) to take an 82-80 lead with 26.8 seconds left in regulation. Quincy Pinkard made a free throw with 13.6 seconds left and Tedric Johnson made one with 4.5 seconds left to tie the score for Lawndale, 82-82, in regulation.

In the first overtime, Lawndale (20-11) opened a five-point lead but Canyon came back again with its three-point shooting. In the second overtime, Anderson made six consecutive free throws (he was 16 of 18 in the game) to help the Comanches pull away.

"The kids gave a great effort to build a lead like that. We just couldn't stop the onslaught," Coach Christopher Brownlee said.

The statistics were as strange as the game. Lawndale made 65% of its shots but had 28 turnovers and missed 16 free throws. Chimezie Metu, the 6-foot-10 USC-bound senior, had 24 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks for Lawndale. Canyon got 22 points from Chandler Dignam, 18 from Justin Trias and 15 from Kaleb Phillips.

Tracy Murray, the former Glendora and UCLA standout on hand for a web broadcast, said, "Never watching basketball in CIF history have I seen anybody come back from 28 down to win."

In the girls' Open Division final, Chaminade got a baseline jumper from Isabel Newman to pull off a 64-63 victory over No. 1-seeded Santa Ana Mater Dei.

It was the second time this season Chaminade (24-3) has beaten the Monarchs (28-2) by a single point. Both Mater Dei losses are to Chaminade.

Paige Fecske led Chaminade with 20 points. Valerie Higgins had 15 points Leonna Odom 11.

In the 1AA final, USC-bound Bennie Boatwright had 30 points and 13 rebounds to help Sun Valley Village Christian (27-4) pull off a 79-61 victory over No. 1-seeded Temecula Great Oak (27-7).

In the 2A final, Robert Lewis scored 16 points and Javonntie Jackson had 14 points and 16 rebounds to lead Compton (21-10) to its first title since 1969 with a 63-48 win over Redlands East Valley (25-7).

In 3AA, La Habra Sonora went on a 16-0 surge in the fourth quarter for a 66-54 win over Gahr (25-7).

Point guard Josh Rodriguez scored 16 points to lead Sonora (28-4), but the real star of the game was 6-foot-6 center Steven Murphy. He finished with 13 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks.

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