Jayda Curry, Centennial hold off feisty Washington-state team to win the Best of the West tourney
By Landon Negri
CHINO HILLS — Martin Woods acknowledges he has a young girls basketball team at Centennial. At some point, though, he’ll also have to concede the Huskies are pretty darn good, as well.
Centennial on Saturday night won the Best of the West Tournament at Ayala High School, holding off an impressive Napavine (Wash.) team, 60-54, in the final.
Freshman point guard Jayda Curry, one of those young players Woods was talking about — and an emerging face in the Inland area — scored a team-high 29 points, while senior guard Lauryn Manns and junior forward Sierra Dent each sank go-ahead baskets in the final four minutes.
Dent’s was an inside score from a feed by senior Jasmine Peete with 2:02 remaining that put the Huskies (12-1) up for good. Centennial and Napavine had traded scores and the lead to that point — no lead or deficit was ever more than seven points.
“This is a testament to our kids and the fact that they’ve bought into what we do,” Woods said. “They are the most unselfish team I’ve ever coached.”
And Woods played this game without forwards Clarke and Hunter Walker and 6-1 post Jessica Peterson — all were out of town. Peete is still recovering from early-season injuries, and Manns, the team’s No. 2 scorer, sat the first quarter for disciplinary reasons.
Across the court was a team vying to become perhaps the most unlikely champion in the Best of West’s long history. Napavine is a small town of about 2,000 located roughly halfway between Seattle and Portland. The high school competes as a small school in Washington and has had success, reaching a state-title game two years ago.
Saturday night, it showed why.
Senior forward Melissa Lee scored 26 points and dazzled both inside and at mid-range, though the Huskies did tighten their defense on her […]