April 18, 2024

Since the season started it seemed inevitable that Etiwanda and Sierra Canyon would play for the CIF Southern Section Open Division girls’ basketball championship for a third consecutive year.

The Southland’s two premier programs met again Friday night at California Baptist in Riverside, and the question was whether the game would live up to the hype.

The game might not have, but Etiwanda sure did. The Eagles used a 12-0 run early in the third quarter to take control in a surprisingly one-sided 65-44 victory.

“We had a really good week of preparation,” coach Stan Delus said. “In my eight years at Etiwanda, I’ve never seen a group so locked in. We said we weren’t going to defend our title from last year, we were going to win this one. Never in my 24 years of coaching has a team taken everything it learned from all the adversity of the season and put it into one game like this.”

Eitwanda’s Aliyahna Morris make a layup over Sierra Canyon's Mackenly Randolph.

Eitwanda’s Aliyahna Morris make a layup over Sierra Canyon’s Mackenly Randolph during the CIF Southern Section Open Division championship game at Cal Baptist on Feb. 23, 2024.

(Steve Galluzzo / For The Times)

Junior Grace Knox led the charge with 19 points and 12 rebounds while McDonald’s All-American Kennedy Smith, Mykelle Richards and Aliyahna Morris each added 13 points for the Eagles (29-3).

Despite the graduation of JuJu Watkins, now a freshman star at USC, the Trailblazers were confident in their trio of McDonald’s All-American Mackenly Randolph, Jerzy Robinson and Louisville-bound guard Izela Arenas. Robinson scored 17 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, while Randolph had 14 points and 16 rebounds and Arenas added 11 points for the Trailblazers (30-2), who won the rebounding battle 45-36 but made just 15 of 60 shots from the field and were 0 for 14 beyond the arc.

“That was the worst basketball game of my Sierra Canyon career,” coach Alicia Komaki said. “For as bad as we played we should’ve lost by 60 points. It was not pretty basketball. They’re always more physical than us. We expected that. We have to figure out a way to generate more offense. We’ll regroup.”

Both teams looked nervous early before Arenas finally broke the scoreless tie on a pair of free throws with 4:47 left in the first quarter. Knox made a bank shot for the first field goal after Etiwanda missed five shots.

Etiwanda’s Mykelle Richards shoots over Sierra Canyon’s Emilia Krstevski.

Etiwanda’s Mykelle Richards shoots over Sierra Canyon’s Emilia Krstevski on Friday.

(Steve Galluzzo / For The Times)

Sierra Canyon's Jerzy Robinson goes up for a shot against Etiwanda on Friday.

Sierra Canyon’s Jerzy Robinson goes up for a shot against Etiwanda on Friday.

(Steve Galluzzo / For The Times)

Knox sprinted for an uncontested layup off a turnover to give Etiwanda a 40-23 lead with 20 seconds left in the third quarter, and the margin was 15 heading to the fourth for the defending Open Division state champions, who fell to Sierra Canyon in the section finals last season before getting revenge in the regional finals.

The teams could meet again in the regional finals March 5, but Delus insisted his team’s mentality will be the same as it was to start the section playoffs.

“Were going after the state championship as if we haven’t won anything yet,” Delus said. “The goal this year was to win both [section and state], and starting Monday we’re going to have that zero-zero mind-set again.”

Division 2AA

St. Anthony 64, Moreno Valley 58 — Kadence Lloyd had 22 points and seven rebounds, Ryann Bennett had 14 points and Melaiah Joseph added 13 to lead the victorious Saints (24-7) at Azusa Pacific University. Leiayjah Mills had 15 points and Bella Medina added 13 for Moreno Valley (28-5).

Division 5A

Antelope Valley 71, St. Pius X-St. Matthias 44 — Niya Price had 25 points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots while Ariana Soil added 26 points for the Antelopes (16-6), who led from start to finish and were up 32-8 at halftime at Azusa Pacific. Stephanie Zesati had 13 points with nine rebounds and Evelyn Martinez had 11 points for the Warriors (19-12).

CITY SECTION GIRLS’ BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SCORES

Division I
Sun Valley Poly 57, Arleta 47

Division II
Granada Hills Kennedy 53, Van Guys 43

Division IV
Gardena 54, Fremont 12

56
40
93
59
00
25
56
55
62
18
34
92
64
11
23
65
23
87
71
23
08
45
70
45
57
16
21
43
78
97
88
50
90
62
52
61
46
90
46
87
55
72
50
18
32
72
15
05
65
02
63
53
66
97
92
42
34
43
62
81
10
29
70
97
46
90
92
41
01
71
38
59
31
56
07
77
56
87
88
16
08
61
45
05
73
42
84
28
19
71
35
89
40
72
54
14
91
46
95
94
96
96
69
33
11
39
64
90
40
27
33
68
38
01
96
52
16
28
93
19
84
64
31
01
09
96
45
66
80
15
32
87
51
58
45
84
68
27
10
47
88
00
83
59
79
10
94
63
09
32
88
96
56
75
93
50
93
58
26
93
58
90
43
21
91
74
42
76
26
88
94
05
89
47
90
54
52
66
85
80
02
86
52
60
64
43
05
85
59
36
07
73
85
92
89
85
47
35
22
12
24
58
61
49
19
39
06
81
15
95
47
49
25
18
44
40
33
20
18
53
91
02
92
20
40
02
77
75
05
72
32
68
65
27
10
96
09
49
59
71
33
16
97
77
88
32
80
07
41
22
21
65
18
03
50
45
18
16
85
35
56
98
73
48
32
10
62
17
31
65
12
98
88
37
61
86
10
47
86
80
06
55
88
58
28
91
71
84
34
64
36
19
84
33
54
56
00
81
01
92
22
66
69
67
80
56
32
95
45
12
18
59
95
46
93
63
14
56
24
03
06
54
32
83
08
72
57
18
63
47
65
55
25
52
15
38
72
10
37
21
34
67
96
13
78
91
75
74
46
23
26
07
80
38
46
34
88
41
85
58
24
19
99
80
50
86
92
92
70
96
67
03
93
37
72
21
72
34
62
56
79
06
49
05
50
66
84
56
22
95
45
56
35
88
65
95
36
28
47
55
37
26
85
82
28
50
28
34
39
94
46
56
91
97
73
62
88
87
88
75
37
00
70
48
98
43
23
28
27
74
82
56
52
48
01
66
45
39
24
10
55
00
66
56
47
70
90
20
47
95
08
53
52
63
16
47
94
25
18
65
03
53
97
85
88
66
56
42
98
07
00
19
02
87
24
79
12
76
93
46
98
10
84
91
36
72
96
14
23
00
69
28
18
34
19
80
30
53
03
63
25
55
82
24
69
96
95
94
56
40
19
12
23
48
94
14
19
20
81
51
02
53
35
30
77
54
44
05
33
36
84
97
83
88
78
86
19
85
89
19
99
23
33
01
18
64
59
05
51
88
36
93
30
55
89
45
95
65
71
14
20
15
33
09
18
15
33
95
76
83
84
08
05
40
19
43
27
73
41
99
84
15
11
06
04
78

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *