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Serra outlasts Windward, 82-77, in triple overtime thriller

Caila Hailey broke a 77-77 tie with a pair of free throws with 6.5 seconds remaining and added another free throw with 0.3 seconds left in the third overtime to lift Gardena Serra to an 82-77 victory over Los Angeles Windward in the Southern Section Division 4AA championship game at the Anaheim Convention Center on Wednesday night.

With Windward trailing 79-77, Imani Stafford spun in the lane for a layup but was called for a double dribble, nullifying the basket with two seconds left. The Wildcats then tried to call a timeout but didn’t have any left, resulting in a technical foul.

Siera Thompson sank both free throws, increasing Serra’s lead to 81-77. Hailey was fouled again with 0.3 seconds left and made the second of two shots to provide the final margin.

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Thompson had 22 points and UNLV-bound Rejane Verin added 20 for the seventh-seeded Cavaliers (27-3), who used an 18-11 fourth-quarter run to force overtime. Jordin Canada had 21 points, Kristen Simon had 17 and Macchiati Smith added 14 for the Wildcats, who were trying to win their second straight 4AA title.

“It’s all about what’s inside, if you want it you’ve got to go get it,” Verin said. “Never quit. Never give up. I didn’t see it [the double dribble call on Stafford] but the referee called the violation. We got the win at the end and that’s what matters.”

There were 17 ties and 16 lead changes. Windward had the largest lead, 40-29, in the third quarter.

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It took eight minutes longer than they wanted, but Laguna Hills High players didn’t mind one bit after upsetting Mission Hills Alemany, 59-55, in double overtime to win the CIF Southern Section Division 3AA girls’ basketball championship.

The fourth-seeded Lady Hawks (22-8) broke a 55-55 tie in the second overtime on Maddy Ziering-Smith’s corner three-pointer with 37 seconds left and Laguna Hills went on to win its fourth section crown under Coach Jim Martin, who led the program to the 2A title in 2000 and 4A titles in 2007-08.

“I was just thinking if I’m open, take it,” Ziering-Smith, who had 19 points, said of her winning shot.

Celia Marfone had 22 points and 17 rebounds for Laguna Hills, including a driving bank shot that broke a 43-43 tie with six seconds left in the fourth quarter. After a timeout, Alemany’s Alex Moon launched a desperation three-pointer from inside the half-court line. It missed, but Hannah Johnson grabbed the rebound and made a layup as time expired. Laguna Hills players began to celebrate, believing the clock had run out.

Both teams waited in anticipation as the referees conferred at the scorer’s table and eventually ruled the basket good.

“When I looked up at the scoreboard, there was no time left, so I thought we’d won,” Marfone said. “We just had to keep our heads in the game. It’s not over until it’s over. I guess we had to win it twice.”

Ziering-Smith had 19 points for the Lady Hawks, who outscored Alemany, 14-8, in the third quarter to take a 32-29 lead.

Leslie Lopez-Wood scored 23 points and Johnson added 10 points and 11 rebounds for the second-seeded Warriors (29-3), who made only six of 33 three-point attempts. There were nine ties and 14 lead changes as momentum swung back and forth for most of regulation.

In the 3A final, La Puente Bishop Amat used a balanced attack and scored 16 points off turnovers to upset top-seeded Oak Park, 44-30.

Paulina Santana paced the third-seeded Lancers (21-11) with 14 points, Dagmar Ramirez had 10 points and Kaysee Tayag added nine. Kelsey Haines had 20 points and Sarah Bucknovitz added seven for the top-seeded Eagles (21-9), who outscored their opponents 12-3 in the fourth quarter.

North Hollywood Campbell Hall (21-6) led from start to finish on its way to a 66-29 victory over Brentwood in the 4A title game game. Natalie Azad scored 22 points for Vikings. Natalie Azad made six of eight three-pointers and finished with 22 points and UCLA-bound forward Lauren Holiday, the sister of Philadelphia 76'ers point guard Jrue Holiday, added 16 points and 18 rebounds for the top-seeded Vikings (21-6), who held their Alpha League rivals to one point in the second quarter.

sports@latimes.com


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