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Girls' basketball: Canyon Springs wins at the buzzer

March 1, 2013 |  9:25 pm

_3013345Senior guard Ashleigh Sparks caught an inbounds pass, drove the length of the court and made a layup as time expired to lift Canyon Springs over Bishop Amat 48-46 in the Southern Section 1A final Friday night at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Cheyenne Greenhouse had 24 points and eight rebounds, including a free throw that gave the second-seeded Cougars (20-9) a 46-45 lead with 28 seconds left. On the Lancers' ensuing possession, Mauriana Clayton was fouled with 4.9 seconds left and made the second of her two foul shots to tie the game and set the stage for Sparks' winning shot.  

"No matter what happened [on the free throw], our coach told us to push the ball up the floor and score the basket so that's all I was thinking about," Sparks said. "I was well defended but I gave a little stutter step, leaned in and put it up."

The ball danced around the rim for several moments before dropping through as the buzzer sounded, sending Canyon Springs running off the bench in wild celebration. It was the Cougars' first trip to the section finals since 2009 when they lost the 1A final to Colony. They won the 1A crown in 2005.

Paulina Santana had 20 points and Clayton added 13 points and 16 rebounds for the top-seeded Lancers (24-9), who won the 3A title over Oak Park last year.

-- Steve Galluzzo

Photo: Canyon Springs guard Ashleigh Sparks (right) made a layup at the buzzer to beat Bishop Amat in the Southern Section Division 1A final. Credit: Steve Galluzzo / For The Times