Girls' basketball: Jordin Canada leads Windward to Open Division title
MAR 08, 2014 3:19a ET
AZUSA, Calif. -- She's the maestro. Friday night on the largest stage the CIF Southern Section has to offer, she orchestrated one of her team's most brilliant performances.
Windward dominated No. 1 Mater Dei, 61-46, in the girls Open Division final and in the process it was McDonald's All-American point guard Jordin Canada composing a masterpiece.
As fluid a point guard there is in the country, Canada led her teammates in a dismantling of the No. 1 team in the country that few had ever seen. And a statement was made.
"I believe Jordin Canada is the best player in the America," Windward head coach Vanessa Nygaard said.
Her first half was as brilliant an exhibition of basketball the CIF Southern Section finals has ever seen -- nine points, four rebounds and nine assists. Neither she nor her team turned the ball over in the game's first 24 minutes taking a 46-23 lead into the locker room at halftime.
"From the jump (my competitive drive kicked in)," Canada said. "Thereâs been a lot of people saying we're the underdogs, Mater Dei is going to beat us and all this other stuff. That's just motivation for me to come out here and just show them we're one of the best teams too and we can play with the best of them."
Despite giving up nine inches to 6-foot-3 sharpshooter Katie Lou Samuelson, she was tenacious in her approach, getting a deflection off of the Mater Dei star and forcing a Monarchs (26-2) turnover. On the ensuing possession, she knocked down a three.
Forcing another turnover, Canada got a steal, dribbled behind her back the split the defense before getting all alone in the front court for a layup to give the Wildcats (25-2) a 37-14 lead.
Her intensity flowed to the rest of her teammates as they shot 60 percent from the field in that dominant first half, made all nine of their free-throw attempts, and connected on 5-of-10 three-pointers.
"That's pretty much my job," Canada said. "(To) let them feed off of me."
In the end, the result was the first Open Division title in the CIF Southern Section being handed out and it's headed to the Westside.
"It's unbelievable," Nygaard said. "The greatest compliment for our team is to play among champions and Mater Dei is the standard. Which would you rather win, the NCAA tournament or the WNIT? Open Division, baby!"
The Open Division belongs to Windward thanks to a beautifully orchestrated performance by the maestro.