Juju Watkins scores 37 points, grabs 23 rebounds against her former team
“Just another game,” Juju Watkins claimed on Tuesday night before facing her former teammates from Windward in a girls’ basketball game to decide the Gold Coast League championship.
Watkins went out and scored 37 points while grabbing 23 rebounds in Sierra Canyon’s 85-53 victory as UCLA coach Cori Close looked on, hoping the No. 1 player from the class of 2023 might consider her program.
“That’s just another game for her,” Sierra Canyon coach Alicia Komaki said.
Yes, Watkins is that good. She missed shots and got a little tired in the fourth quarter, but her energy level and competitiveness was high throughout. Sierra Canyon is 22-1 and 5-0 in league and in position to be the No. 2 seed behind Etiwanda when the Southern Section Open Division girls’ basketball pairings are released Tuesday.
Supporting Watkins was sophomore MacKenly Randolph, who had 25 points and 15 rebounds. Windward (17-7, 4-1) has lots of talent too. Junior guard Skye Belker scored 25 points and freshman center Samari Bankhead scored 14 points.
Last season Watkins played for Windward. There are no hard feelings. Watkins hugged Windward assistant Ebony Hoffman afterward. She had two years of expert training under Hoffman, now an assistant with the Seattle Storm, and Vanessa Nygaard, the new head coach for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury.
Watkins continues to develop. She is handling the ball like a point guard, which should make for interesting matchups in the playoffs.
Granada Hills 78, Chatsworth 52: Karma Paez scored 16 points for the 19-2 Highlanders.
Birmingham 69, El Camino Real 56: The Patriots picked up the West Valley League win.
Chaminade 59, Harvard-Westlake 44: Kayla Cabaccang had 10 points for Chaminade.
Camarillo 76, Simi Valley 26: Gabriela Jaquez scored 35 points to help the Scorpions improve to 25-0.
Viewpoint 68, Paraclete 56: Giovanni Goree had 25 points and Andrew Younan 22 points for Viewpoint.
Birmingham 89, Cleveland 60: Cameron Hatch scored 21 points and Kory Blunt 18 for the Patriots.
Harvard-Westlake 66, Chaminade 27: Cameron Thrower finished with 21 points for Harvard-Westlake, which finished the Mission League tied for first place with Sherman Oaks Notre Dame and 21-2 overall.
St. John Bosco 59, Santa Margarita 38: The Braves handed Santa Margarita (18-3, 6-3) only its third defeat and showed they could be a factor in the Division 1 playoffs. Freshman Kade Bonam scored 20 points. Christian Estrada had 15 points and Jack Turner 14.
Mater Dei 74, Servite 54: The Monarchs clinched the Trinity League championship behind Zack Davidson, who scored 25 points and had 12 rebounds. Tyler Small had 21 points for Servite.
Dominguez 58, Paramount 45: The Dons won the battle for first place. Cameron Norman had 21 points for Paramount.
Damien 69, Chino Hills 54: Jimmy Oladokun had 22 points.
Sierra Canyon 100, Windward 59: Amari Bailey scored 22 points for the Trailblazers.
JSerra 74, Orange Lutheran 73: Robert Diaz scored 30 points for JSerra.
Westlake 54, Agoura 50: Trent MacLean had 13 points and Marcus Lesser added 12 points for 17-5 Westlake.
Servite 1, Mater Dei 0: Eddie Villeda came through with a goal to help Servite improve to 15-2-2 and 8-0-1 in the Trinity League.
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