Here’s what living life on the edge was like for the Simi Valley High girls’ basketball team Wednesday night:
Without two players who fouled out and playing with two others who had four fouls, Christina Mosesso banked in a three-pointer with five seconds left in overtime to give the Pioneers a stunning 56-55 victory over top-seeded Palmdale in the second round of the Southern Section Division I-AA playoffs at Simi Valley.
Simi Valley (20-9) will play Oxnard in a quarterfinal game Saturday at a site to be determined.
About the only time the Pioneers played it safe was in overtime, leaving the ball in the hands of Mosesso, a point guard who averages four assists a game.
But Mosesso played the role of shooter in the overtime, scoring seven of Simi Valley’s nine points and finishing with 17 points.
The Falcons (24-4) had a chance to win but LaTanya Robinett missed a 15-footer and Edneisha Curry missed on the rebound as time expired.
The Pioneers, who rallied from an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter, used an aggressive defense to force Palmdale into 22 turnovers.
“We had to be really intense on defense,” Mosesso said. “That was our best chance.”
Midway through the third quarter, Curry started a 15-4 Palmdale run with a layup and the Falcons appeared comfortably ahead, 42-31, with five minutes left.
After Palmdale’s run, Simi Valley turned up its defensive intensity and held Palmdale to five points the remainder of regulation.
“There were times . . . we just rested too much,” Palmdale Coach George Corisis said.
Jensa Metcalf took advantage of the Falcons’ lapses. The senior forward scored six straight points for the Pioneers during their comeback.
“Jensa’s been improving more and more this season,” Simi Valley Coach Dave Murphy said.
Sophomore Jamie Sturdivant forced overtime with a twisting layup as time expired. Sturdivant scored six of her 12 points in the fourth quarter.
The victory was sweet for Mosesso, who was the first player off the bench for the Pioneers last season, when Simi Valley lost by one point to Palmdale in a Division I-AA semifinal.
“This win means the most,” Mosesso said.
Marjorie Knott scored 14 points and Monique Nolan added 12 for Palmdale.
Shannon Malia, who averages more than 16 points for Simi Valley, was held to nine.