By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
COVINA >> Covina and Wilson high school have taken turns winning the Valle Vista League girls basketball titles the previous two seasons, and Dominique Theus put the Colts in position to add to their trophy collection.
The senior scored a game-high 20 points and keyed a second-half surge as host Covina took a major step toward the league title with a 45-37 victory over Wilson on Monday.
The Colts, also getting 10 points from Mariah Sierra and eight from Daeanera Tuaua, improved to 15-9 overall and 9-0 in league play. Covina, ranked No. 6 in the Valley, moves two games ahead of Wilson with three games left. Wilson, which went 12-0 in winning the league title last season, slipped to 14-9 and 7-2. The Wildcats were led by Elizabeth Lau and Kaelyn Kawamoto, with 14 and 10 points, respectively.
Sierra, after Lau made two free throws at 3:17, then hit a 3-pointer for a 38-37 lead with 2:48 left. Sierra then made a fast-break layup with 53 seconds left before Theus sank two free throws for a 43-37 lead with 42 seconds left to clinch it.
Covina coach Nick Masi: “I can’t be more proud of my players, my coaching staff from fighting back from unranked (to begin the season) to (possibly) league champs. I can’t be any more proud of them. I’ll be honest. Wilson was the league favorites. We knew that and (winning) it was our goal. It was something we just couldn’t do last year, but they became champions tonight by beating (Wilson) twice. That’s a big deal.”
Wilson coach Chris Roberts: “You have to give Covina all the credit in the world. We couldn’t get the shots we wanted today. It was the same thing when we ran into them at our place. They’re a very disciplined team, defensively. We tried has hard as we could, but in the end, they were more effective, defensively.”
Dominique Theus: “We were down by seven at halftime, but I told my team we have to win. We have to do what we have to do on defense, play smart and try our best on offense and come out ahead.”
By Stephen Ramirez