Etiwanda finally gets past Sierra Canyon
Huffing and puffing, Etiwanda coach Dave Kleckner grabbed a water bottle late Thursday night. He looked relieved and exhausted. His team had finally beaten Chatsworth Sierra Canyon 82-76 in the semifinals of the Southern California Open Division Regional basketball playoffs after going 0-5 against the Trailblazers since 2018.
“I try not to take it personally, but it’s hard,” he said.
A year ago, the Eagles saw Ziaire Williams make a last-second shot in the regional final to help Sierra Canyon rally for victory. A week ago, Etiwanda lost to Sierra Canyon by the identical score of 82-76 on the same court. This time, the Eagles would not be denied.
“It’s a great feeling,” said Jahmai Mashack, who finished with 20 points. “Shoutout to Sierra Canyon. Sierra Canyon is a great team. I love competition. It’s great to get over the hump. We lost five seniors last year. Nobody thought we’d get back this year.”
Etiwanda (13-2) attacked the depleted Trailblazers (16-2) inside with Mashack and Marcus Green, who scored 20 points. Quinton Webb had 14 points and Darvelle Wyatt 13. Sierra Canyon was pretty much a one-man team on offense after Shy Odom left the game in the second quarter with an ankle injury. Amari Bailey did his best, scoring 37 points.
Drake, sitting in a courtside seat, had a brief conversation with Bailey at the start of the second quarter. Whatever he said, Bailey came alive, scoring 13 points in the quarter. Etiwanda led 36-31 at halftime. The Eagles tried to employ the same strategy Corona Centennial did when it defeated the Trailblazers last week — by making threes. Green had two threes and Kwinten Crenshaw another three.
Etiwanda will play at 30-0 Torrey Pines on Saturday night for the Open Division title. Torrey Pines defeated La Verne Damien 63-42.
The 42-year coaching career of Ed Azzam came to an end when Ribet defeated Westchester 89-56. The game was halted with about one minute left to honor Azzam, who guided the Comets to 15 City titles and 932 victories.
Lamaj Lewis scored 23 points to help Bellflower St. John Bosco defeat Studio City Harvard-Westlake 65-56. The Braves will host Ribet in the final.
In 1-A, Mission Viejo Capistrano Valley ended the four-year careers of KJ Simpson and Keith Higgins of West Hills Chaminade with a 76-64 overtime victory. Simpson finished with 25 points and Higgins had 24 points, including seven threes.
In girls’ basketball, Santa Ana Mater Dei and Corona Centennial are set for a Saturday rematch at Mater Dei in the Open Division final. Centennial defeated Clovis West 62-53. Londynn Jones and Jayda Curry scored 17 points each.
Mater Dei defeated Cathedral Catholic 66-54 behind Caia Elisaldez, who scored 18 points. Mater Dei defeated Centennial in a memorable overtime game last week on a three-point basket with one second left.
Carson athletes were the stars at the City Section girls’ track and field championship.
Freshman Anise Becker won the 400 in 1:00.33. Sophomore Reign Redmond won the 100 in 11.93 and the 200 in 25.01. Carson grad Jailah Collins won the 100 hurdles in 15.18.
Miranda Schriver of Palisades won the 3,200 with a time of 11:54.60.
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