Skylar Williams of Granite Hills drives past Rancho Buena Vista’s BrieAnna Stillman in the second half.
It finally happened for Granite Hills High.
Having never even played for a San Diego Section girls basketball championship until last season, the Eagles made the leap past that 20-point loss right into the winner’s circle.
And right into the school’s first CIF crown.
Granite Hills forced 30 turnovers and clamped down on Rancho Buena Vista’s offense for a 55-44 triumph Friday at Viejas Arena to claim the Division I title.
“We have quite a few girls back from last year and we made sure the eighth-graders, the incoming freshmen, felt a part of that team last year,” Granite Hills coach Jerry Parker said. “So everybody on this team, even the new girls, were focused on getting the job done.”
Trailing by as much as 18 in the third quarter, the Longhorns (21-11) rallied a bit behind senior Jenny Dee’s 11 points in the quarter.
That sliced the deficit to 37-29 before top-seeded Granite Hills (26-6) reasserted control.
“We knew (Dee) was their main girl, so we played four-on-one against her,” Skylar Williams said. “We were determined to not let her score and make her work for everything she did get.
“We played pressure defense and the plan was to speed it up because RBV is a slow down kind of team.”
Granite Hills actually stretched its lead in the second quarter despite scoring just nine points, and three of those points came on Williams’ 3-pointer in the final seconds.
Rancho Buena Vista scored just one point in the same quarter. Only Sydney Roberts’ free throw kept the Longhorns from being shut out.
The Longhorns were 0 of 13 from the field in the quarter, going 4-for-23 to trail 25-11 at halftime.
Williams was Granite Hills’ halftime leader with 11 points.
Williams finished with 17 points and six rebounds for the Eagles. Leena Alyashaa was the next highest scorer with nine points.
Rancho Buena Vista, which hit just 14 of 50 field-goal tries, got double-figure outings from Dee with 18 points and 15 points from Mikaela Shannon.
Dee also picked off 14 rebounds while Shannon had nine rebounds. Her sister Ariana Shannon had eight rebounds.