ONTARIO In a game of twists and turns, Horizon junior Sarah Porter ultimately sought to miss her final throw as a possible way to enable the Panthers to prevail in the Southern California Regional Division V girls basketball championship game.
Instead, the last of her shots awarded for a 3-point attempt swished the nets with nine-tenths of a second left. Without a possible rebound and follow basket, top-seeded Horizon lost to Chatsworth Sierra Canyon 63-62 on Saturday at Colony High.
“It’s always tough to lose a close game,” said Porter, who hit her first two attempts in the final second. “We were so close to going to state. We had heart.
It was back and forth, and we just give it our all.”
Freshman DiJonai Carrington, who played the entire fourth quarter with four fouls, scored the last of her team-high 24 points on a layup to put the Panthers (26-8) ahead 59-58 with 2:12 to go. However, that was their only success in nine tries over the final three minutes as they finished with just 33 percent accuracy from the field (23-70).
The No. 2 Trailblazers (23-9) regained the advantage to stay with 2:05 left on a short jumper by sophomore Kennedy Burke, who finished with 28 points and 24 rebounds. They later built a 63-59 edge with a basket set up by a long inbounds pass.
Horizon missed out on advancing to the state final despite building a 22-10 edge in the first six minutes. In a reversal, the Panthers trailed 35-30 at halftime.
Then they opened the second half with seven straight points for the lead, only to have Sierra Canyon respond with a 13-0 surge.
“We didn’t want to go out without a fight,” Carrington said. “We didn’t want to go out at all. We just came up short. Still, this season we did what no other (Horizon) team had ever done.”
Junior Janae Omusi added 12 points and a team-high 10 rebounds for Horizon.