Windward coach Vanessa Nygaard said Saturday night she was so bored she counted the number of days since her basketball team lost to Chatsworth Sierra Canyon by nine points in a league game. It was 28 days ago.
“We didn’t feel good about where we were at that time, but it’s a testament to the girls how we came back and found a way to play so well as a group,” she said.
Windward (25-5) won its second consecutive Southern Section Open Division championship with a 73-58 victory over a Sierra Canyon team that entered 29-0. The Trailblazers had no answer for Windward’s big three. McDonald’s All-American Charisma Osborne scored 27 points, McKayla Williams finished with 25 and Kaiyah Corona had 17.
Vanessa DeJesus, who scored 31 points in Sierra Canyon’s win last month, was four for 15 from the field and finished with 15 points. Ashley Chevalier had 18 points.
Windward’s championship game experience showed in the fourth quarter. After a 48-48 deadlock, the Wildcats went on an 11-2 spurt and outscored Sierra Canyon 25-10.
“They looked a lot more comfortable,” Sierra Canyon coach Alicia Komaki said.
Two hours after the boys’ team won the Division I title, it was time for Granada Hills to celebrate its first City Open Division title on the same court after a 59-49 victory over Westchester at L.A. Southwest College.
SS Division 1
West Hills Chaminade won its fourth Southern Section championship under coach Kelli DiMuro, riding a 24-point, 25-rebound performance by 6-foot-2 junior Alexis Whitfield to defeat Riverside King 52-49 at Cal Baptist.
Whitfield’s basket with 19 seconds left gave the Eagles a 50-49 lead. King had taken a 49-48 lead with 43 seconds left on a three-point basket by Alexis Mead, who finished with 23 points.
“One of the most emotional, exciting games of my life,” DiMuro said.
King coach Jesus Martinez said Whitfield had “ice in the veins.” Whitfield also made a key steal in the final 10 seconds.
City Division I
Palisades pulled out a 57-54 overtime win over Carson. Rose Morris made a score-tying three-pointer with under 10 seconds left in regulation for Palisades at L.A. Southwest College.
Sammie Arnold had 16 points, including three three-pointers, and Jane Nwaba scored 14 points as the No. 1-seeded Dolphins overcame a 10-point deficit late in the third quarter under first-year coach Adam Levine to capture their second Division I title and sixth City title overall.
Leonna Logan had 24 points and Justina Graham scored 12 for the defending champion and No. 2-seeded Colts (14-8), who led 33-27 going into the fourth quarter.
Palisades won its first Division I title in 1999 under Kevin Hall, then won Division II titles in 2011 and 2012, and Open Division titles in 2015 and 2016, all under Torino Johnson.
SS Division 3AA
Freshman Londynn Jones scored 29 points to help Corona Santiago defeat Santa Monica Crossroads 68-56 at Azusa Pacific. Mimi O’Neal and Mia LaFayette each scored 15 points for Crossroads.
Girls' Division 3A
Diamond Ranch 58, Mayfair 52
SS Division 2AA
Heather Park finished with 16 points and nine rebounds to help Orange Lutheran defeat Rolling Hills Prep 51-50 at Godinez.
Anne Jolie Phung scored 13 points as Covina Northview defeated Oak Park 47-43. Julia Broms scored 13 points for Oak Park.
Girls' Division 4A
Santa Fe 55, Hillcrest 38
Girls' Division 5AA
Linfield Christian 62, Montclair 44
Girls' Division 5A
Bloomington Christian 55, Bishop Conaty-Loretto 38