With Summit trailing by 14 points in the first half on Saturday night in the CIFState Division I Southern California Regional second round game against Corona Santiago, I had a feeling the SkyHawks would make a run.
After all, they had held a second-half lead against Santiago in their meeting earlier this season before falling in the championship game of the Ayala Best of the West Tournament, 76-69.
They weren’t going to get blown out, but as is the question often with comebacks, will the comeback take too much out of a team?
As it turns out, no.
Santiago instead looked like the fatigued team down the stretch, making just three field goals in 18 attempts in the fourth quarter. Part of that was Summit’s defense, and part was Summit showed superior poise, despite never hiolding a lead in the game’s first 27 minutes. Summit went on to beat Santiago 45-44 in a CIF State Division I girls basketball Southern California Regional Second Round game at Santiago.
The other county team alive in the state playoffs, the Etiwanda boys, fell at Los Angeles Loyola, 48-35.
Summit plays at No. 1 seed Santa Ana Mater Dei in the regional semifinals on Tuesday.
The SkyHawks held Santiago scoreless for 5:19 in the fourth, during a three-point deficit into a six-point lead.
Jillian Alleyne was again the big gun for Summit, with 16 points and 29 rebounds. But it was far from a one-player show
Alleyne went out with what appeared to be a serious knee injury with 3:44 to play in the third and Summit trailing by 3. It apparently wasn’t as serious as it first looked and by the time Alleyne came back to start the fourth, Summit was within two, so her teammates did a great job of holding their own.
Adrianna Brodie, frustrated with a foul call against her in the first half, had three fouls (including one technical) and one point at halftime. Although she finished with only five points, Brodie never fouled out, despite picking up her fourth foul before the end of the third quarter.
Summit caught a big break when Santiago’s top player, junior Chrishae Rowe (game-high 22 points) fouled out with 36.6 seconds to play. She was whistled for charging on what could’ve been a tying basket and Santiago coach John Perez went ballistic.
Ajaee Foster, held scoreless in the first three quarters scored five points in the fourth. None were bigger than the two free throws she made with 3.2 seconds left that gave Summit a 45-41 lead that rendered Shiana Carrington’s 3-pointer at the buzzer meaningless. Foster’s free throws came after she had made just 1 of her first 4 and Summit had missed 5 straight free throws. Overall, Summit’s free throw shooting was anemic, making just 17 of 34. Alleyne made five of 12.
In addition, five different players combined to score Summit’s 13 fourth-quarter points.
And let’s not forget the Summit fans. The Summit crowd was larger and more raucous than the home team. I know it’s not that far from Fontana to Corona, but let’s give the Summit fans credit for venturing into hostile territory to support their team and helping them to victory.
Summit is now 3-2 against Santiago in the last 3 years, with two of the wins coming in the state playoffs, both on Santiago’s floor.