Kennedy Smith of Etiwanda goes up with the basketball during the Eagles’ victory over Country Day in the state playoffs. The Eagles went on to capture the title. (Contributed photo by Jerry Soifer)

It was a season to remember for the Etiwanda High School basketball ladies.

The Eagles won a thriller over Archbishop Mitty, 69-67, in Sacramento on March 11 to capture their first-ever state championship.

A rebound basket by Jada Sanders at the buzzer broke a 67-67 tie and gave the Eagles the dramatic victory, capping a spectacular run through the state tournament.

“A game of the ages,” said coach Stan Delus, whose squad finished with a 32-3 record.

In the back-and-forth battle, Etiwanda fell behind, 64-57, in the final minutes before rallying with help from baskets by Sanders, Kennedy Smith, and Arynn Finley.

Aliyahna Morris sank two free throws to tie the score at 67-67.

Etiwanda regained possession in the last seconds, and when a jumper by Smith went in and out, Sanders was in perfect position under the hoop to grab the ball and cash in the winning shot.

Smith, a junior who is considered one of the top players in the nation, had a sensational game with 30 points, 13 rebounds, 6 steals, and 4 blocked shots.

The Eagles lost in the CIF Southern Section championship game to Sierra Canyon, but then in the Open Division state tournament, they triumphed over La Jolla Country Day (47-42) and brought down No. 1-seeded Sierra Canyon (55-54) before edging Archbishop Mitty.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.