Windward girls just slip by Mater Dei
It figured that a game between the state’s No. 1- and No. 2-ranked girls’ basketball teams might come down to the final seconds.
After being tied at 31, 33, 38, 40 and 45 in the third quarter, No. 1 Los Angeles Windward opened a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter, only to see No. 2 Santa Ana Mater Dei come roaring back in the final two minutes.
With two seconds left, a three-point attempt by Mater Dei’s Khalia Lark failed to connect, and Windward came away with a 65-62 victory in the Nike Extravaganza on Friday night at Mater Dei.
UCLA-bound Nirra Fields led all scorers with 26 points for Mater Dei (21-3). Macchi Smith had 16 points for Windward (20-3), a Southern Section Division 4AA school that has now knocked off 1AA powers Mater Dei and Long Beach Poly in less than a week.
Courtney Jaco had 12 points and Jordin Canada and Kristen Simon added 10 apiece.
“We wanted to play one of the toughest schedules in the country, and we have,” Windward Coach Steve Smith said. “Everything is to prepare us to win the Southern Section and prepare us for state.”
Texas-bound Imani Stafford, a 6-foot-7 senior, contributed 15 rebounds for the Wildcats.
A key play in the game came with 26 seconds left when Macchi Smith made a follow shot after a missed free throw to give Windward a 65-60 lead. Fields made two free throws with 16 seconds left.
Another missed Windward free throw gave the Monarchs one final chance at tying the score, but Lark’s three-pointer wasn’t close.
Mater Dei 83, St. John Bosco 62: Katin Reinhardt scored 18 points, Xavier Johnson 16 and Stanley Johnson 15 to help the Monarchs’ boys’ team move closer to clinching the Trinity League championship.
Mater Dei (21-2, 8-0) opened a 49-17 halftime lead. Daniel Hamilton had 26 points for St. John Bosco (17-6, 6-2).
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