Trailblazers are now 24-1 heading into the Mission League culminating tournament
By Jacob H. Pollon
The Sierra Canyon boys basketball team won the Mission League regular season championship Friday night after a drama-filled 81-75 comeback victory against previously unbeaten Notre Dame.
The Trailblazers trailed 66-49 with just over six minutes remaining. What happened after that is truly amazing.
Sierra Canyon (24-1, 7-0) went on a crazy 32-9 run to end the game. The Trailblazers full-court press created several turnovers and Notre Dame’s energy level seemed to dip.
Bronson Schmidt-Uili, a 6-foot-8 forward fouled out with over four minutes remaining and the Knights had trouble rebounding the ball.
“It was do-or-die time,” Sierra Canyon coach Andre Chevalier said. “We had to go to crazy mode.”
Sierra Canyon led early 14-9 but Notre Dame quickly rook control and led 41-33 at halftime. The lead was down to 53-49 before a back-breaking 13-0 run from Notre Dame at the end of the third quarter and start of the fourth.
Mercy Miller scored 28 points and Lino Mark had 21 to lead Notre Dame. Zach White, a promising sophomore scored 10 points for the Knights. Mark was held scoreless in the fourth quarter and Notre Dame committed 10 turnovers.
Justin Pippen scored 19 points, Isaiah Elohim had 18 and Bryce Cofield 14 to lead Sierra Canyon. The Trailblazers made 11 3-pointers.
It was a sweet victory for Sierra Canyon not only because of the fashion in how it was done or the sold-out, standing room only crowd or live telecast on ESPNU.
Last year Notre Dame beat Sierra Canyon four times in a span of 40 days en route to the Division 1 state title.
Earlier in the week, Sierra Canyon escaped Mission Hills with a closer-than-expected 67-55 victory against Alemany.
Elohim and Noah Williams each scored 18 points, Cofield scored 11 points and Jayden Alexander 10.
The Trailblazers only led 52-51 after three quarters and needed a 15-4 burst to finally put away the pesky Warriors, who featured junior big man Burgeois Tshilobo and sophomore Samuel Mbingazo.
Michael Lindasy, a grid-hooper, committed to Idaho State for football, scored 14 points and Jared Mims added 15 to lead Alemany.