Sierra Canyon defeats Harvard-Westlake in Mission League opener

With Juju Watkins, Sierra Canyon is a power.

With out Juju Watkins, Sierra Canyon is a power.

They’re each plain, undisputable, one assertion enhancing the opposite. Watkins, the senior USC commit and arguably the perfect participant within the nation, has put up video-game numbers on what coach Alicia Komaki described as a “farewell tour” in main Sierra Canyon to a 13-0 begin. And easily having her on the ground presents an issue: How on earth are defenses speculated to deal with the likes of junior MacKenly Randolph, senior Crystal Wang and flourishing junior Izela Arenas?

“You’re telling me the [opposing] third- or fourth-best defender is going to guard her?” Troy coach Roger Anderson stated of Arenas earlier within the season.

Watkins wasn’t there to remove Harvard-Westlake’s greatest defender — feisty ballhawk Jamie Yue — Tuesday night time, nursing an ankle harm in a sweatsuit on the bench. However the Trailblazers proved scary deep with out her in a 70-50 win over the Wolverines to open Mission League play, as Wang bulldozed her approach to 21 factors and Arenas racked up 16 via the top of the third quarter.

Certain, this may occasionally not have regarded like rather more than an early-January Sierra Canyon blowout. However it, at a small degree, carried deeper playoff implications.

The Trailblazers misplaced final season’s Southern Part Open Division title to Etiwanda largely as a result of Watkins obtained in third-quarter foul bother, the remainder of the Trailblazers falling out of rhythm. If the whistles strike once more in a key late-season state of affairs, Sierra Canyon staff is deeper and extra versatile than final season’s state-championship squad.

“We play the same way whether she’s on the court or she’s on the bench … everybody else should always play the same way,” Komaki stated of Watkins.

The left-handed Arenas, particularly, has taken her sport to a brand new degree this season as each a go-to-scorer and complementary guard. She may rating 26 factors one sport and two the subsequent, Komaki stated, and he or she and the Trailblazers could be completely completely satisfied both method.

“I feel like I have a big role to play this year,” Arenas stated.

Randolph, although, regarded glum after Sierra Canyon’s win, and Komaki didn’t mince phrases that their protection was lower than optimum, too usually letting Harvard-Westlake probe the inside and discover Jordyn Name for threes.

“If we’re playing our best basketball now, we’re in trouble,” Komaki stated.