ONTARIO -- The third time and Imani Stafford were the charms for the Windward girls' basketball team against La Jolla Country Day.
Windward beat Country Day, 68-58, to win the CIF Division IV Southern California Regional final at Colony High School on Saturday.
It was the third time Windward and Country Day have met this season. Country Day had won the previous two games.
Stafford, Windward’s 6-foot-7 junior center, missed the first two games against Country Day. She made her presence felt in the regional final.
“She’s huge,” Windward coach Steve Smith said. “They had to pay attention to that.”
She scored nine points and had 16 rebounds. She was a force in the paint, altering Country Day’s shots throughout the game. Freshman teammate Kristen Simon shouldered the load with Stafford in the paint with 11 points and seven rebounds.
Down two points, 46-44, entering the fourth quarter, Windward went on a 19-4 run. Jordin Canada sparked the surge scoring five of her team’s first eight points in the fourth quarter. Courtney Jaco knocked down a couple key 3-pointers in the run as Windward built a 64-51 lead.
Canada finished with 14 points and five assists. Jaco poured in a game-high 18 points and made six 3-pointers.
Kelsey Plum scored 18 points for Country Day. Maya Hood had 10 points and 11 rebounds.