Sierra Canyon girls’ basketball team is two wins away from perfect season

Mater Dei girls' basketball coach Kevin Kiernan with Sierra Canyon coach Alicia Komaki,
Mater Dei girls’ basketball coach Kevin Kiernan with Sierra Canyon coach Alicia Komaki, who used to play for Kiernan at Troy and coached with him at Mater Dei.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

Two more wins and the Chatsworth Sierra Canyon girls’ basketball team will be celebrating perfection long into the night.

“National championship” is what Santa Ana Mater Dei coach Kevin Kiernan is predicting after Sierra Canyon dispatched the Monarchs 59-47 on Saturday to improve to 31-0 and advance to Tuesday’s Southern California Regional Open Division championship game at home against Etiwanda, a 47-42 winner over La Jolla Country Day. It will be a rematch of the Southern Section Open Division championship game won by Sierra Canyon.

“I don’t want to jinx them,” Kiernan said, “but they’ve done a real good job going across the country playing everyone. They’re not going to get rattled.”

Mater Dei (29-4) was able to turn up the pressure in the second half after falling behind by 19 points at halftime, getting as close as 11 points. Juju Watkins & Co. stepped forward when needed for the Trailblazers. Watkins finished with 26 points and 13 rebounds and Izela Arenas made a critical three-pointer in the fourth quarter to derail Mater Dei‘s comeback hopes.


Mackenly Randolph added 13 points for Sierra Canyon, which needs one more win to earn a trip to the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento to play for a second consecutive state championship on March 11.

Kiernan used to coach Sierra Canyon coach Alicia Komaki when she played at Fullerton Troy. Komaki became an assistant under Kiernan, the winningest girls’ coach in California history. Now Komaki has the Trailblazers poised to make history. She appreciated the challenge Mater Dei offered.

“You should get challenged in the Open Division in state,” she said. “We want to be challenged. We want to see everybody’s best.”

Mater Dei‘s future should be good, since freshman Kael Wynn provided a lift by making three three-pointers.