February 23, 2024

Dating to the days of Jrue Holiday, the Windward vs. Campbell Hall basketball game always produces drama. It happened again Thursday night in Studio City, where Campbell Hall came back from a 12-point deficit to take the lead in the fourth quarter.

It was a tie game with 31 seconds left when Windward went for the final shot, letting point guard Gavin Hightower do what he does best. Hightower drove to the free-throw line and took a jump shot that banked in with four seconds left to deliver Windward a 72-70 victory and keep the Wildcats (17-3, 3-0) in first place in the Gold Coast League. Campbell Hall dropped to 6-13 and 2-1.

“This happens every year,” said Hightower, a junior guard who finished with 19 points.

Windward starts four players from the class of 2025 — and what a group the Wildcats have to build around. Besides Hightower, JJ Harris scored 18 of his 20 points in the first half when Campbell Hall coach Dave Grace told him, “JJ, take it easy on us, man.” Jeremiah Hampton had 15 points and Louis Bond 13.

Campbell Hall, still waiting for the return of the injured Tanner Jones, received 23 points from Aaron Powell, 21 from Isaiah Johnson and 12 from Aliaun Iscandari.

Windward’s 11-point halftime lead vanished when the Wildcats went cold from three-point range. “That’s what we do. We live and die with it,” Windward coach DJ Gay said.

Crossroads 64, Viewpoint 56: Aeneas Gullon scored 25 points for Viewpoint.

Damien 64, Los Osos 50: Nate Garcia scored 27 points and Xavier Clinton added 15 for Damien, which is 3-0 in the Baseline League.

Rancho Cucamonga 82, Chino Hills 63: Aaron Glass had 26 points for Rancho Cucamonga.

Etiwanda 57, Upland 47: Carrington Pierce scored 13 points for the 17-2 Eagles.

St. John Bosco 68, Springfield Central 37: In Missouri, the Braves won their opener in the Bass Pro tournament. Brandon McCoy scored 15 points and had seven rebounds.

Bernstein 93, Contreras 36: Greg Griffin scored 25 points for Bernstein.

Girls basketball

Chaminade 65, Bishop Alemany 62: Payton Montgomery scored 18 points and Alyssa Saldana had 17 points for Chaminade.

Windward 78, Campbell Hall 38: The Wildcats received 18 points from Laurel Hinds.

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