SACRAMENTO – Windward’s Jordin Canada knocked down a 3-pointer with 43 seconds left in CIF State Division IV girls basketball championship game and gave her team a 51-47 win over St. Mary’s of Berkeley.
Windward had a five-point lead, 43-38, entering the fourth quarter. Shannon Mauldin of St. Mary’s gave her team the lead, 44-43, with 5:53 to play in the game. Windward took back the lead on a basket by Imani Stafford before Mauldin tied it, 47-47, with a little more than a minute to play.
Mauldin’s second big shot of the quarter prompted Windward coach Steve Smith to call a timeout.
"At that point of the game, we had to have some kind of rhythm,” Smith said. “Their length gave us fits. We wanted to give everyone a chance to touch the ball.”
Smith’s play coming out of the timeout called for the players to swing the ball around the perimeter and then drop it in to Stafford. She was double-teamed as soon as she touched the ball. Stafford kicked it out to Canada at the top of the key and she nailed the game-winning 3-pointer.
Canada was asked after the game if she ever envisioned herself making a shot to win a state title.
“I try not to think about stuff like that. It’s kind of selfish,” Canada said. “I just play the game how I play it. It just so happened I had the last shot for my team. I had a feeling it was going in.”
The Windward girls won their first state basketball championship in school history in their second trip. Windward has a 20-game winning streak. The streak started after Stafford missed the first 13 games of the season.
Stafford led all scorers with 18 points and had 19 rebounds. Ten of those were offensive rebounds.
“We wanted to keep her off the glass,” St. Mary’s coach Nathan Fripp said. “We knew she was talented. We knew she would be active on the window. Unfortunately for us, she was.”
Canada scored 12 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field. She made only one 3-pointer, but it was the difference in the game.
Emily Vann and Mauldin each scored a team-high 11 points for St. Mary’s. Teammate Gabby Green scored 10.