By Matthew Laney

With just one second remaining on the clock, JSerra point guard Lexi Vail made a dramatic layup to seal a 49-47 come-from-behind victory over Los Altos in the CIF-SS Division 2AA girls basketball quarterfinals on Feb. 22.

In the fourth quarter, JSerra was able to finally make a move after trailing Los Altos for most of the night.

JSerra senior Julia Ackerman hit back-to-back 3-pointers late in the fourth quarter that helped spark the Lions’ comeback. Ackerman’s first bucket from beyond the arc brought JSerra within one point of the Conquerors. Her second consecutive 3-pointer tied the game up at 47-47. The JSerra defense forced a turnover on the next Los Altos possession with 22 seconds left, setting the stage for Vail’s late-game heroics.

JSerra will host Rosary Academy, a Trinity League rival, in the semifinals on Feb. 25.

The Lions had to make multiple comebacks during the game and trailed 17-4 after the first quarter. JSerra went on a 13-0 run to tie the game at 17-17, but Los Altos took the lead again and went into halftime up 28-19.

“We had to take a couple deep breaths and calm down,” JSerra coach Mary Rossignol said. “They’re just a really resilient group, and I knew it was a matter of time before they would figure out how to close the game.”

Vail scored a game-high 20 points and had seven rebounds. JSerra’s Sarah Shaw chipped in 11 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.

Other High School Basketball News:

-In a shocking upset, the top-seeded Saddleback Valley Christian boys basketball team was defeated by North of Torrance 56-51 in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 3AA playoffs on Feb. 17.

The Warriors (24-4) played without star guard Trey Smith, the Orange County scoring leader, who has been dealing with knee issues throughout the season.

-The JSerra boys basketball squad drew the unfortunate task of having to play Chino Hills, the No. 1 team in the nation, in the first round of the CIF-SS Open Division Championships on Feb. 17.

The Lions hung with the Huskies in the first quarter but Chino Hills, led by standouts LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball, went on a second quarter run that helped their team to a 105-74 victory. The Ball brothers combined to score 58 points.

JSerra’s season, however, is not over. Following the loss, the Lions headed to the Open Division’s consolation bracket and defeated Alemany 61-59 on Feb. 21. JSerra will travel to play Damien on Feb. 24.




About The Author Capo Dispatch

comments (0)

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>