Trying to imitate something Connecticut women’s basketball Coach Geno Auriemma would say, Windward Coach Vanessa Nygaard made it clear on Saturday why the Wildcats are headed to Sacramento next weekend to play for a state championship.
“I got Diana Taurasi and you don’t. I got Charisma Osborne and you don’t,” Nygaard said with a smile.
Osborne hasn’t been a collegiate All-American like Taurasi, but the sophomore guard sure played like a high school All-American, scoring 35 points while making five threes in Windward’s 61-43 victory over Ventura in the Southern California Division I girls’ regional final at The Pyramid.
“Osborne’s a beast,” Ventura Coach Ann Larson said.
It wasn’t only Osborne’s offense that was impressive. Her pressure defense helped hold Ventura’s Savannah Page to 10 points.
Kaiyah Corona added 12 points for Windward (29-4), which will play Sacramento McClatchy in Friday’s Division I final at 6 p.m. at Golden 1 Center.
Open Division: Fresno Clovis West took charge in the fourth quarter and defeated Long Beach Poly, 53-44. Sarah Bates and Megan Anderson each scored 10 points. Jasmine Jones scored 13 points and had 17 rebounds for Poly.
Division IV: Los Osos defeated Sun Valley Village Christian, 52-43. Leslie Aguilar scored 22 points for Village Christian.
Division I: There was no “fifth time is a charm” for Corona Centennial. The Huskies were 0-4 against Eastvale Roosevelt, and much of it had to do with Matt Mitchell. Once again, Mitchell rose up to sink Centennial, scoring 35 points and setting a regional record by making 17 of 18 free throws in a 68-65 victory.
“I will be at Roosevelt’s graduation to see Matt Mitchell graduate,” Centennial Coach Josh Giles said. “He’s killed us in all five games.”
Centennial was within two points of Roosevelt and called a timeout with 1:13 left. But Mitchell twice intercepted passes, scoring once on a dunk and making two free throws the other time.
“I’ve been trained to breathe and be calm and my teammates trust me,” said Mitchell, who has signed with Cal State Fullerton. Jemarl Baker added 17 points. Jalen Hill had 19 points for Centennial.
Roosevelt will play Union City James Logan in Friday’s 8 p.m. Division I final at Golden 1 Center.
“A lot of people say it’s hard to beat a team five times, but it’s hard to beat a team that’s already beaten you four times,” Coach Stephen Singleton said. “We know everything about them and they know everything about us. That’s why each and every game got closer.”
Division II: Stanford-bound KZ Okpala will get to travel to Sacramento after leading Anaheim Esperanza past Pasadena, 68-58. Okpala finished with 28 points. Bryce Hamilton had 34 points for Pasadena.
Division III: Villa Park beat Ontario Colony, 78-67. Julien Franklin scored 19 points and Caleb Banuelos 18.
Division V: Former Fairfax Coach Harvey Kitani has Rolling Hills Prep one win away from a state championship after a 60-59 win over Riverside Notre Dame. Alex Garcia scored 26 points.