AZUSA, CA - In perhaps the craziest game-ending sequence of Saturday’s action at Azusa Pacific, Sammy Wadler scored five points in the final three seconds to give Brentwood a Division 4AA Southern Section championship, 55-53 over Foothill Technology.
Foothill Tech led by seven points with 1:28 remaining, but that’s when Wadler started scoring at will. She drove to the hoop and scooped the ball in with her left hand to make the score 52-47, and Brentwood forced a Foothill Tech five second violation moments later. The teams traded misses for multiple possessions, and unfortunately for Foothill Tech, junior center Abby Sourwine fouled out.
Talia Ginsberg nailed two free-throws for Brentwood to cut Foothill Tech’s lead to three with 29 seconds left. Brentwood forced a huge Dragon turnover one play later, leading to one made Brianna Furch free-throw in the double bonus. Kathryn Bova rebounded the second shot miss and drew a foul at the other end, making one of two to put Foothill Tech up 53-50 with 18 seconds left.
3.7 seconds remained, and Wadler broke free in the corner to hit a game-tying three. Foothill Tech called a timeout, in-bounded under their own rim and bounced the ball to the right corner. Wadler sprinted in-front of the pass, stole the ball and drained a floater at the buzzer to shock Foothill Tech.
“I’m kind of still in shock,” Brentwood head coach Charles Solomon said right after the last second victory. “I never thought we would win that game, I’m just proud that the kids kept fighting.”
Only a freshman, Wadler finished with 16 points, 10 in the fourth quarter. Destiney McAllister led Brentwood in scoring, putting up 20 and seven rebounds.
Foothill Tech jumped out to a 14-5 first quarter lead, behind five opening period points from Cydnie Gutierrez. Brentwood used a strong second quarter to begin a comeback, out-scoring Foothill tech 15-10. Madeline Ozbourn and Emiline Bova dominated the Brentwood defense in the first half, scoring 11 and 10 points respectively.
McAllister knocked down two free-throws to tie the game at 30 late in the third quarter, and stole the ball right back from Foothill Tech one possession later. She went one-for-two at the line to give Brentwood a brief 31-30 lead, until Foothill Tech scored twice in the last few possessions to take a three point advantage into the fourth quarter.
“There’s still a bigger prize out there and I think we’re the best two teams in Southern California,” Foothill Tech head coach Jason Edgmond said.
Bova scored 19 points in 32 minutes, Ozbourn finished with 13 and Gutierrez posted 12. Foothill Tech turned the ball over 24 times against Brentwood’s full court pressure defense, a key stat in the final outcome.