AZUSA, CA - 0.8 seconds remained and Jasmine Moore stepped to the free-throw line for Chaminade, trailing by two. After knocking down the first, Moore stepped over the line on the second and missed. Chaminade was left in heartbreak, while West Torrance celebrated a 46-45 Division I championship.
Chaminade led after each of the first three quarters, and took a 36-33 advantage into the fourth. Tied at 44 with under one minute to go, Leslie Hunter of Chaminade traveled and West Torrance called a timeout. Anaya James drove to the basket, drew a foul and nailed two free-throws to put West Torrance up by two, which ended up sealing a hard-earned victory.
West Torrance trailed 10-6 after the first quarter, led by Lani Lum with four quick points. Hunter scored seven points in the second quarter to help Chaminade extend their lead. The Cougars led by nine at halftime, but both teams failed to shoot above 38 percent.
Leading by five with just under six minutes left in the third quarter, Moore spun and score in the lane after a James made three for West Torrance. The Warriors followed with a turnover, the teams traded misses, but Jasmine Rodriguez splashed a three-pointer to end the drought for Chaminade.
Alisa Saito of West Torrance fired right back with a three of her own from the right wing, but Moore responded with another basket in the paint. Lum scored next for West Torrance, Moore then posted two free-throws and Katie Timmerman hit a three to close out the third quarter, Chaminade leading 36-33.
“Defensively, we were just out of sink in the first half,” West Torrance head coach Riki Murakami said. The Warriors gave up 25 points in the first half and gave up four three-pointers during that stretch. “We told the group at halftime that we needed to settle down and just play our defense.”
Lum (12 points), Hailey Jones and Timmerman starred for West Torrance, each playing over 30 minutes. Jones finished with 11 points and 17 rebounds, while Timmerman also contributed 11 points. The teams matched in rebound totals with 32 each, not a typical statistic.
Chaminade gained an edge in steals with 12, in addition to forcing 15 West Torrance turnovers. The Cougars mightily struggled from the field, however, shooting just 30 percent. Moore scored 17 points and snatched 12 boards. Hunter made four free-throws and put up 14 points.