Sierra Canyon boys basketball tops Etiwanda to reach CIF Southern Section championship game: 3 observations

CALABASAS — Sierra Canyon used a third quarter surge to beat Etiwanda 73-62 Friday night and reach the Southern Section Open Division championship game.

Ziaire Williams scored 24 points to lead the Trailblazers. Etiwanda’s Jaylen Clark led all scorers with 32 points. Below are three observations from the game:

SIERRA CANYON’S BIG GUNS THE DIFFERENCE

Here comes a cliche. Big time players make big time plays in big time games. Sierra Canyon’s Ziaire Williams, BJ Boston, and Amari Bailey were the difference on Friday, especially in the third quarter when the trio scored all 23 of Sierra Canyon’s points.

“We’re built for this,” Bailey said after the game. “I told myself this has to be the biggest game of my career.”

The Trailblazers trailed 34-31 at the half. After three it was 54-44 and Sierra Canyon never trailed again. Boston finished with 19 points. Bailey had 18.

JAYLEN CLARK SHINES

Etiwanda’s Jaylen Clark had a performance for the ages scoring 32 points. With the exception of missing seven free throws, he was excellent. The Eagles problem was that they lacked secondary scoring. Cameron Pierce put in 13 points for Etiwanda. He was the only other Eagle in double figures.

DELAY HURTS ETIWANDA

In the third quarter a scuffle broke out in the stands and the game was paused as two men were escorted out. Etiwanda led 39-37 at that point. Sierra Canyon then went on a 17-5 run after the stoppage.

SIERRA CANYON WILL PLAY MATER DEI IN THE TITLE GAME

Before the season started, this was the expected title game in the Southern Section, but a six loss regular season for Mater Dei put them at no. 7 in the Southern Section Open Division playoffs. Corona Centennial looked more likely to make a run on that side of the pool when the matchups were released.

But the Monarchs won all three of their Open games against Corona Centennial, Rancho Christian and Harvard-Westlake and will now play on Friday for a title. All of a sudden they’re the hottest team in Southern California led by Kentucky signee Devin Askew. This should be a fantastic championship.

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