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Sierra Canyon rallies from a 17-point deficit to beat Bishop Montgomery

Trailblazers defeat Bishop Montgomery

High school basketball can't produce more OMG moments than what transpired Tuesday night during the Southern California Open Division regional semifinal between Chatsworth Sierra Canyon and Torrance Bishop Montgomery in front of a packed gymnasium at Calabasas.

Down by 17 points in the third quarter, Sierra Canyon used a trapping defense and clutch shots by Duane Washington and Scotty Pippen to pull out a 72-70 overtime victory, sending the Trailblazers into Saturday's regional championship game against Etiwanda at Long Beach State.

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"It was a crazy game," Washington said.

Only three weeks ago, the two teams engaged in a double overtime thriller in the Southern Section Open Division semifinals won by Sierra Canyon. This game was wilder.

Washington was cold from outside and Josh Vazquez was connecting from three-point range. Bishop Montgomery opened a 51-34 lead late in the third quarter. But the Trailblazers didn't panic; they started applying defensive pressure.

They went on a 12-0 run to start the fourth quarter. Cassius Stanley delivered two thunderous dunks that sent Sierra Canyon fans into a frenzy. Bishop Montgomery, however, still appeared headed to victory. The lead was 65-60 with 1 minute 31 seconds left.

Stanley made a basket with 59 seconds left. The Knights then shot the ball too quickly and missed. That gave Washington a chance to tie it, and he made a three-pointer with 23 seconds left. It was similar to what he did Feb. 24, making a three-pointer at the end of regulation during Sierra Canyon's 77-74 double-overtime win.

Regulation ended with a follow shot by Bishop Montgomery rolling around the rim and falling out as the buzzer sounded.

In the overtime, it was Pippen making an off-balance jump shot with 42 seconds left to give Sierra Canyon a 71-70 lead. He had told Washington moments earlier he was going to win the game.

"I just let it fly," Pippen said with his father watching and cheering from a front-row seat.

Bishop Montgomery had a chance to win the game. The Knights had the ball with 11.4 seconds left, but two three-point attempts didn't fall.

"We locked down defensively and did everything right in the last few minutes," Washington said.

Vazquez finished with 23 points, Singleton 16 and Gianni Hunt 15 for Bishop Montgomery (28-2), whose losses this season were to the Trailblazers (25-4). Sierra Canyon received 20 points from Stanley, 19 from Washington and 13 from Pippen.

Washington had only three points at halftime. His shot wasn't falling. Then he got hot.

"My team kept believing in me," said the Ohio State-bound senior.

Etiwanda reached the final with a 62-34 win over Fairfax. Kessler Edwards scored 21 points.

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Etiwanda and Sierra Canyon have not played each other this season, so the matchup at 7 p.m. on Saturday should be a good one.

Twitter: @latsondheimer

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