Sierra Canyon outlasts Windward 56-54 in overtime thriller

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Posted by Erik Boal on January 22, 2020 at 21:10:33:

Vanessa DeJesus finished with 17 points, including the deciding basket with 32 seconds remaining in the extra period, to lift host Sierra Canyon to a 56-54 overtime victory Wednesday over rival Windward in a Gold Coast League showdown.

Michelle Duchemin missed the potential tying shot on a baseline jumper in the final two seconds of overtime to allow Sierra Canyon (19-3, 2-0) to secure consecutive victories over Windward (16-4, 2-1) for only the second time in the 11-year history of the rivalry.

Sierra Canyon won twice during an eight-day span in 2015 and has now won back-to-back games again after a 49-36 victory over Windward in the Open Division state regional semifinals last March.

Windward still leads the all-time series 17-5, although Sierra Canyon has won three of the past four meetings.

Sierra Canyon, ranked No. 2 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports, rallied from a 13-point, third-quarter deficit to take a 41-40 lead entering the fourth following a 3-pointer by Ashley Chevalier.

The Trailblazers built the advantage to 51-43 with 3:10 left in the fourth, before Windward freshman JuJu Watkins scored six consecutive points in a 90-second span to help the No. 7 Wildcats close to within a basket in the final two minutes of regulation.

Senior McKayla Williams tied the score at 51-51 on a layup with eight seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime.

Watkins, who finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds, made two free throws to open the extra period to give Windward a 53-51 lead, before DeJesus' basket tied the score for the Trailblazers.

Rosemary Odebunmi, who had 11 points and 14 rebounds, helped Sierra Canyon pull in front 54-53 with a free throw, before Williams' free throw tied the score again with 1:45 remaining in overtime.

DeJesus had an opportunity to seal the victory with free-throw attempts with 9.5 seconds left in the extra period, but missed the front end of a one-and-one situation to give Windward one last chance to win or force double overtime.

Duchemin had 15 points and seven rebounds, with Williams adding 13 points and five rebounds for Windward, which had its six-game winning streak snapped.

Senior Alexis Mark contributed nine points before fouling out in overtime, freshman Sofia Ruelas added eight points and Chevalier had five points in her first game since enduring a right knee injury Dec. 30 for Sierra Canyon, which extended its winning streak to seven in a row, including a 62-56 triumph Saturday at previous state No. 1 Long Beach Poly (18-3).

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