State Basketball: Div. IV girls, St. Mary's vs. Windward


At Power Balance Pavilion, Sacramento

Matchup: Windward (28-4) vs. Albany St. Mary’s (30-4), Saturday, 9:30 a.m.

How they got here: Windward has a 19-game winning streak and hasn’t lost since Dec. 22 in the Tournament of Champions in Arizona. The Wildcats beat La Jolla Country Day, 68-58, in the Southern California Regional final and avenged two earlier losses to the Torries. Windward won the Southern Section Division 4AA championship, 68-46, over Bishop Montgomery. St. Mary’s beat Modesto Christian, 70-42, in the Northern California Regional final to advance to the state championship. The Panthers have won 17 games in a row, including 73-48 over Piedmont in the North Coast Section Division 4 championship.

Key players: Four players scored in double figures for Windward in the Southern California Regional final against Country Day. Sophomore Courtney Jaco led the way with 18 points on six 3-pointers. Freshman Jordin Canada scored 14 points with four steals and had seven assists. Junior Paris Baird scored 13 points and freshman Kristen Simon had 11 points off the bench. Junior center Imani Stafford scored nine points and had 16 rebounds. Jaco, Canada and Stafford are averaging 12 points apiece for Windward.

St. Mary’s freshman Gabby Green leads the team in scoring with 10.1 points per game and assists with 4.1 per game. She scored nine and had six assists against Modesto Christian in the Northern California Regional final. Senior Emily Vann leads the team in rebounding with 6.9 per game and is second on the team in scoring with 9.9 points per game. She scored 12 against Modesto Christian. Freshman forward Mikayla Cowling scored a team-high 16 points in the Northerh California Regional final.

What to expect: Stafford, at 6 feet 7, is a force in the paint for Windward. She and Simon pretty much had their way with Country Day in the post and on the offensive boards. DeAndre Moore is St. Mary’s tallest player at 6-3. Windward should have a definite edge in the frontcourt.