SANTA ANA -- The tempo of the CIF-Southern Section Division 5A championship game was not to Sierra Canyon coach Ryan Silver’s liking.
It was a slow, methodical, low-scoring game that went into overtime. Sierra Canyon’s Jesse Howell scored the only field goal in the extra period in his team’s 48-45 win over Montclair Prep at Mater Dei High School on Friday night.
“He was unbelievable throughout the game,” Silver said about Howell. “He brought it. They slowed down the tempo. We like to play in the 70s. They kept it in the 40s. This is not our kind of game.”
Howell scored 13 points on 6-for-13 shooting from the field. His biggest shot of the game came in overtime. Both teams went scoreless for the first three minutes in overtime before Howell hit a 15-foot jumper to break the tie and give Sierra Canyon a two-point lead.
Sophomore guard Jahmel Taylor made two free throws in the final minute of overtime to give Sierra Canyon a four-point lead. Taylor scored a team-high 16 points with two 3-pointers.
“I was born to do that,” Taylor said about making the free throws in overtime. “That’s what I dream of all the time.”
Neither team shot well from the field. Sierra Canyon was 19-of-61 for 31.1 percent. Montclair Prep was 16-of-56 from the field, 28.6 percent, and was 0-for-12 from 3-point range.
Sierra Canyon had a two-point lead, 11-9, after the first quarter. Both teams came alive in the second quarter, each scoring 16 points. Sierra Canyon led at halftime, 27-25.
Sierra Canyon extended its lead to four points after three quarters. Down 37-33, Montclair Prep clamped down on Sierra Canyon and tied the score at the end of regulation, 44-44.
“We missed a lot of shots,” Silver said. “We shot the ball poorly tonight.”
Sierra Canyon outscored Montclair Prep, 4-1, in overtime to win its first CIF basketball championship. It was also the first CIF championship for Silver who is in his first year as coach of Sierra Canyon.
Montclair Prep’s Charles Lockett led all scorers with 20 points and 13 rebounds. Teammate Trey Dickerson scored 15 points.