CIF Southern California Regional final
Girls Division IV
Colony High School in Ontario
La Jolla Country Day (27-4) vs. Windward (27-4), Saturday, 5 p.m
La Jolla Country Day and Windward have played twice this season. The first time was in the championship game of the La Jolla Country Day Sweet 16 Tournament in December. Country Day won that game, 71-53.
The second game was a bit closer. Country Day won in overtime, 45-39, in the Nike Tournament of Champions on Dec. 22.
In both games, Windward was without its leading rebounder and shot blocker Amani Stafford. She missed the first 13 games of the season trying to improve her grades. Not that she was struggling acadamically – Windward coach Steve Smith said she had a 3.2 grade-point average – but she wanted to get it above the 3.5 mark.
“It was a catch-22,” Smith said. “We would probably have two losses instead of four losses. But we had to develop at a more rapid pace. It prepared us for Bishop Montgomery.”
Windward has beaten Bishop Montgomery twice, including in the championship game of the Southern Section Division 4AA playoffs. Windward also has wins over Oaks Christian, Fullerton Rosary and Atascadero in the playoffs.
Since Stafford returned to the team, Windward is 18-0. The Wildcats are coming off a 79-40 win over LACES in the semifinals of the Southern California Division IV Regional on Saturday night.
Country Day has a seven-game winning streak and hasn’t lost since Feb. 4 to Mater Dei in the Nike Extravaganza. The Torreys won the San Diego Section Division IV championship over The Bishop’s.
Key players: Windward has six players who have scored more than 200 points this season. Jordin Canada leads the team with 12.4 points per game. Stafford is second at 12.3 points per game. Courtney Jaco is scoring 12.2 points per game. Stafford leads the team with 11.9 rebounds per game and 4.3 blocks per game. Canada, the team’s freshman point guard, is avergaing 4.9 assists per game.
Kelsey Plum leads Country Day in scoring and assists. She is averaging 19.7 points and 4.8 assists. Maya Hood is the team’s leading rebounder at 11.9 per game. She is also second on team in scoring at 18.7 points per game. Four players are averaging double figures in scoring. Kaylah Miller comes in at 12.4 points and Malina Hood is averaing 10.2 points.