Valley Christian won the Southern Section girls' 1-A basketball title Saturday at the Long Beach Arena with a 37-25 victory over San Dimas, but it wasn't pretty.
The teams combined to make just 22 of 89 shots, with San Dimas the worse offender, making only 9 of 47 from the field.
The game was won by a Crusader defense that shut down San Dimas' top two players, Kandi Eckard and Audrey Perkins. Eckard did not have a field goal until the final minute of the of the third quarter, and Perkins made just 5 of 23 shots.
"I thought our defense was the game for us," said Valley Coach Eleanor Dykstra, whose team finished 21-7. "With a young team you need a good defense."
But the defense would not have enjoyed such success had it not been for a patient Valley offense that refused to be intimidated by the Saints' press. The Crusaders rarely had problems bringing the ball up court, and they forced San Dimas into its half-court offense, where it was badly overmatched.
"They contained our big guns pretty well," San Dimas Coach William Wakeley said. "We just never got into our game."
Donna Pollema and Kari Parriott tied for the team lead in scoring and rebounding. Each had 11 points and 10 rebounds. Pollema was named the game's outstanding player.
"They're too young to realize what we've accomplished," Dykstra said of her team, which starts four sophomores and one junior. "There was no pressure on us. But next year is going to be tough."
San Dimas (26-3) closed to within four at the end of the third quarter but could get no closer in the second half. Valley made 6 of 8 free throws in the final moments to build the lead to as many as 14 points.
Perkins led San Dimas with 15 points, while Eckard scored just six. Each had eight rebounds.