Vanessa De Jesus makes clutch shot in overtime for Sierra Canyon in win over Windward

Sierra Canyon guard Vanessa De Jesus shoots a baseline jumper over a Viewpoint defender during the Trailblazers' 71-49 victory on Jan. 15, 2020.
(Shotgun Spratling / For The Times)

It was a shot with 33 seconds left in overtime on Wednesday night that any NBA player would gladly admire. Except it came from Vanessa De Jesus, Sierra Canyon’s standout girls basketball player.

“She practices those shots,” coach Alicia Komaki said. “So nothing is surprising.”

With the score tied against rival Windward, De Jesus made a crossover dribble to leave her defender going the opposite direction. She then connected on an open 15-footer from the right wing to give Sierra Canyon a 56-54 victory.

“She was going to jump and try to block me,” De Jesus said of McKayla Williams. “I gave her a little head fake and then went off the dribble.”

Sierra Canyon (19-3, 2-0), ranked No. 1 in Southern Section Division 1, overcame a 13-point deficit in the third quarter. Everything changed when Texas-bound Ashley Chevalier, in her first game back from a knee injury, came in with about five minutes left in the third quarter. She never left the court. Her energy and ball handling ignited the Wildcats, who took a nine-point lead in the fourth quarter.

That’s when Windward freshman JuJu Watkins stepped forward to score seven consecutive points. Then Williams sent the game into overtime with a basket with eight seconds left in regulation, tying the score 51-51. Watkins finished with 21 points. De Jesus scored 17 points.

“We both always play our best game,” De Jesus said of playing Windward. “It’s always the funnest game of the year.”


The two teams played in the Southern Section Open Division final last season won by Windward. Then Sierra Canyon won the regional final. Get ready for a rematch in the playoffs.