Girls BB: Windward moves onward

State’s preseason No. 2 team blitzes the field at the 10th Annual Palisades Beach Invitational

Few expected anyone other than preseason No. 2 Windward (Los Angeles) to win the 10th Annual Palisades Beach Invitational, but some felt they would at least get a game from someone, considering two other teams that made the semifinals were ranked in the preseason Top 35 rankings, with the third on the Bubble.

It just wasn’t to be, as the Wildcats blitzed the field, culminating in a 55-28 championship game victory on Saturday night over preseason No. 16 Lynwood.

Lynwood got to the title game with a 62-56 win over preseason No. 23 Bishop Alemany of Mission Hills, while Windward punched its ticket to the championship game with a 57-30 win over pre-season Bubble team Troy of Fullerton.

He could get some arguments, particularly after January 6, but Orange County Register girls sports writer and analyst Carlos Arias feels Windward’s “Jordin Canada and Kristen Simon are easily the best 1-2 punch in So Cal.”

Windward (4-0) isn’t as deep as they’ve been, but the combination of having the top point guard in the state in the UCLA-bound Canada, and one of the state’s top big girls in USC-bound Simon, is going to make the Wildcats tough to handle against all but deep, elite teams, and none of those was playing at Palisades.

The powerfully-built but athletic 6-1 Simon led the way against Lynwood with a double-double 18 points and 16 rebounds. Canada, who according to second-year head coach Vanessa Nygaard rested most of the second half, finished with nine points and six assists, and was named tournament most valuable player.

Besides Canada and Simon, junior sharpshooter Emily Surloff was named all tournament, as was Priscilla Lopez and Jasmine Johnson of Lynwood.

Alemany won the third place game, 51-41 over Troy.

Washington-bound Hannah Johnson and Breanna Calhoun were named all-tournament from Alemany, while sophomore point guard Barbara Sitanggan was all-tourney from Troy.

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