Girls' basketball: Sierra Canyon wins first state Division V championship
Chatsworth Sierra Canyon has won its first CIF state championship in girls' basketball with a 47-33 victory over Pinewood on Friday morning in the Division V final at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento.
An 18-5 advantage in the third quarter after holding a one-point halftime lead propelled the Trailblazers (24-9) to the third.
They led by 14 points going into the fourth quarter. Pinewood (24-8) scored the first seven points of the quarter, but Sierra Canyon Coach Alicia Komaki, a former Mater Dei assistant, called a timeout, settled her team down, and the Trailblazers stopped the rally.
Leading the way was sophomore guard Kennedy Burke, who scored 14 points, had 16 rebounds and four assists and made some decisive passes in the fourth quarter to set up teammates. Cheyanne Wallace added 11 rebounds. Gabi Nevill scored nine points and made three three-pointers.
Pinewood made just 11 of 49 shots (22%). Sierra Canyon shot 30% but outrebounded Pinewood, 44-34. Burke and Wallace combined for eight blocks.
“It feels fantastic,” said first-year Coach Alicia Komaki, a former Mater Dei assistant.
Komaki was able to get a team with four non-senior starters to get rid of its nervousness in the second half. “We get nervous in the big games, so I kind of had to keep preaching, ‘Hey, let’ get through it,’” she said.
As for Burke, Komaki said, “I think everybody saw how good a player she is. I don’t even think she’s one of the best sophomores in the country. I think she’s one of the best players in the country.”
-- Eric Sondheimer