ANAHEIM – Sophomore Tyler Prange scored a career-high 22 points, led Canyon of Anaheim to its first CIF girls basketball championship in school history and denied Harvard-Westlake its third CIF Southern Section championship in a row.
Prange made 10 of 13 shots from the field in her team’s 66-45 win over top-seeded Harvard-Westlake at the Anaheim Convention Center on Thursday night.
Canyon outscored Harvard-Westlake, 20-6, in the fourth quarter, turning an otherwise close game into a blowout.
“We never had any doubt that this was possible for us,” said Canyon coach Matt Dale.
Canyon led 15-12 after the first quarter. Lindsay Uyematsu scored five points in the first quarter to pace Canyon. Hilary King dropped in five points in the first quarter for Harvard-Westlake to keep it close.
At the end of the first quarter, Harvard-Westlake sophomore guard Leslie Schuman was hit in the mouth when she was trying to control a loose ball. Her mouth hit the head of one of the Canyon players.
Harvard-Westlake coach Melissa Hearlihy said Schuman had at least two, possibly four, of her teeth knocked back in her mouth. She was taken to an oral surgeon and did not return to the game.
The 5-foot-8 Schuman is the team’s leading rebounder at 7.6 per game.
“It was a factor Leslie wasn’t in the game,” Hearlihy said.
Canyon extended its lead to four points, 29-25, at halftime. Allie Henderson was the leading scorer for Canyon with eight points at the half.
Prange went off in the second half, scoring 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting.
“The difference in the game was that they got some real easy shots,” Hearlihy said. “They got to the rim. They did a great job against us. I just think they’re defense today was stellar.”
Henderson made three 3-pointers and finished with 16 points. Christina Salvatore scored 11 points and had five rebounds for Canyon.
Esther Lee scored a team-high 13 points and made three 3-pointers for Harvard-Westlake.
Salvatore, one of nine underclassmen on the team, said she had a feeling at the beginning of the season this was going to be one of the best teams in the Southern Section, but she still can’t believe her team won a CIF championship.
“I’m sure it’s not going hit me until later,” Salvatore said. “I’m kind of in the moment now.”