Windward of Los Angeles, St. Mary’s (Stockton) and Salesian of Richmond all post solid MLK Day Monday wins
The action on Monday at the MLK Showcase at St. Mary’s (Stockton) picked up right where it left off on Saturday with Windward (Los Angeles) completing a sweep of both St. Mary’s teams, but with the hosts bouncing back from the Windward loss with an impressive victory over an Etiwanda team coming off an upset victory over St. Mary’s of Berkeley.
When Windward head coach Vanessa Nygaard told Cal-Hi Sports on Saturday after the win over St. Mary’s of Stockton that “nobody has a player like Jordin Canada,” she was right on the mark.
After trailing most of the game and having a previous last lead at 35-33 to open the third quarter, Windward’s Canada waited until near the very end and struck as quickly as a viper.
With St. Mary’s ahead 53-48 for the fourth five-point lead of the second half, Canada had apparently seen enough.
The ESPN No. 2 ranked senior point guard sank two free throws, got a steal that resulted in a basket by freshman Jasmine Blevins, assisted a basket by Blevins, and then got a steal and a basket with 23 seconds left that gave Windward a 56-55 lead.
Canada then hit the front end of a one-on-one, but after missing the back end, USC-bound Kristen Simon pulled down her fifteenth rebound and Canada added another free-throw to close out the scoring.
Simon had 19 points to go with her 15 rebounds.
“I knew that we needed to get a couple of stops on defense and get some baskets on offense, so as a captain I had to step up and lead by example and take over the last few minutes of the game, but it wasn’t just me,” Canada told Cal-Hi Sports. “My teammates stepped up and gave a great effort, Kristen with a big rebound and Jasmine Blevins with huge baskets for us down the stretch. Everyone contributed in the end to leave with the W.”
St. Mary’s (13-4) played much better than on Saturday when the team was flat in the Etiwanda loss. Still, no one could stop Canada when she asserted herself.
Cal-bound Gabby Green led St. Mary’s with 21 points and seven rebounds. Fellow Cal-commit Mikayla Cowling had 11 points and nine rebounds. Cowling, who was fatigued by the flu and had a poor outing against Etiwanda, looked much fresher.
Host St. Mary’s bounces back
Arizona-bound Charise Holloway led the way for St. Mary’s (12-4) with a game high 31 points (seven rebounds) while Kat Tudor added 25 points on six three-pointers, and the result was a very impressive 92-83 win over Etiwanda.
Etiwanda (12-5) led 6-0 and 8-5 before St. Mary’s had a 13-0 run that eventually turned into a 29-8 run that gave the hosts a 34-16 lead in the early second quarter.
The visitors from the Inland Empire came storming back with a 20-9 run of their own and only trailed 45-37 at the half.
That’s when St. Mary’s and Tudor in particular caught fire. The 5-10 sophomore that made over 100 three-pointers and shot better than 50-percent from outside the arc last season but started this game ice cold, made five three-pointers and scored 19 points in the third quarter.
At one point Tudor hit three-straight three pointers and a fourth after an Etiwanda basket. When she hit her fifth trey near the end of the period St. Mary’s led 76-46 and although Etiwanda never quit to the final buzzer the outcome was pretty much decided.
“If I have a bad streak like I did in the first half I have to keep my confidence up. Its all about my keeping up my confidence,” Tudor remarked.
Tudor (6-of-13 on three-pointers) was the hottest girl from outside the arc, but several other girls contributed to the 15 total treys for St. Mary’s. Holloway made three, and Carlissa Shipp made two and finished with 10 points, while Mi’Cole Cayton and Naje Murray also made two three-pointers.
Although she only scored two points Sierra Smith was a key to the first quarter and third quarter runs with her pressure defense and overall play. The freshman guard also had seven steals, seven assists and five rebounds
“We do what we do. We really don’t change anything, but I was surprised our pressure bothered them as much as it did. The key for us is relentless pressure,” said St. Mary’s head coach Tom Gonsalves.
Etiwanda got 23 points and eight rebounds from USC-bound Amy Okonkwo, 21 points from Arizona-bound Cherice Harris, 20 points and 21 rebounds from Cal State Fullerton-committed Daeja Smith and 19 points from Oregon-bound McKynzie Fort.
The Eagles out-rebounded the Rams 48-31 but only four girls from Etiwanda scored.
“We just wanted to work hard, get every rebound which obviously we didn’t, and execute our game plan which we did,” Holloway told cal-Hi Sports.
Etiwanda head coach Anders Anderson was disappointed but not totally dismayed.
“It’s a tough day when a team makes 15 three-pointers against you. I had a 6-3 girl flying at her and she (Tudor) still hit. Our team never quit. It was a great effort and going 1-1 against these quality teams makes the six-hour ride back home a little easier and shows we can compete in the Open Division.”
Salesian completes 2-0 weekend behind Mariya Moore
We pushed the gas pedal after the Windward win in Stockton to make it to Kentfield Marin Catholic for the final game of its MLK Classic, and the Cal-Hi Sports Caravan finally arrived after the 105-mile journey with Richmond Salesian trailing Miramonte (Orinda) 35-31 and 3:00 remaining in the first half.
Miramonte would take a 36-35 lead into the locker room at halftime but the momentum had already swung to Salesian after the Pride broke the Mats press, and Salesian (14-5) ended up rolling to a 74-56 victory.
With the press broken, Salesian star Mariya Moore took over in the second half and led an 18-0 third quarter run in which during the stretch she had a hand in every point with a basket, a three-pointer, and six assists. The Louisville-bound Moore didn’t quite get a quadruple-double like she did on Saturday in Stockton, but she did register a triple-double 26 points, 15 rebounds and 12 assists.
Salesian also got 15 points from Deja Stallworth and 13 points and nine rebounds from Colorado-committed center Zoe Correal.
“I felt like once we broke their press we had a lot of momentum going into the second half,” Moore remarked.
It also appeared Salesian and Moore were a bit fatigued after the MLK Stockton 70-68 win over Oregon’s top team South Medford on Saturday.
“In the first half I was a little fatigued but that was no excuse,” continued Moore. “I knew if we were going to win this game I would have to play through the fatigue.”
Miramonte (15-1) got a game high 34 points from Sabrina Ionescu. The USA U16 star had 22 points in the first half and 12 of the Mats 18 second half points but didn’t get the help she needed from her teammates that were shut down by the defense of the Pride.
“At halftime we adjusted our defense to stop Ionescu but our plan was to shut them down and stop the three-point shooting they do so well,” said Salesian head coach Steve Pezzola. “The girls got after it and executed what we wanted to do.”
Other MLK Monday action
In an early game the Caravan witnessed in Stockton, Fresno Clovis West led 19-16 after one quarter but the superior size and experience of South Medford paid off in a 62-57 victory.
Clovis West (13-3) was led by Emily Anderson and Portia Neale with 15 and 12 points, respectively.
Washington State-bound Ashley Bolston led the Oregon girls with 17 points and 13 rebounds.
In another game at Stockton Vista Murrieta bounced back from a lopsided loss on Saturday to Bishop O’Dowd with a 59-52 victory over Fairfield Vanden.
Super sophomore Jaelyn Brown led Vista Murrieta (14-5) with 24 points, 11 rebounds and five steals.
Vanden (12-5) was led by Chantell Greer with 16 points.
Sad note: Host Marin Catholic had to play their MLK Day game with Piedmont on Monday without head coach Rick DeMartini. Just prior to the tip-off DeMartini was informed his father George DeMartini had passed away and he left immediately. With the news about the death of the elder DeMartini’s, who was a fixture at Marin Catholic games, and without their coach, the girls only scored eight points in the first half but bounced back to only take a 44-31 loss. Cal-Hi Sports offers condolences to the entire DeMartini family on the loss of its patriarch.