Sophomore Izela Arenas came off the court in the second quarter almost ready to dance, then was intercepted by teammate Juju Watkins, who proceeded to lift her up. The excitement of Sierra Canyon basketball is real for those who saw the Trailblazers’ Gold Coast League season opener against host Brentwood on Wednesday night.
“She’s strong as heck,” Arenas said of Watkins, who can’t play until Dec. 26 because of transfer rules. “She’s like a WWE wrestler.”
Arenas, the daughter of former NBA guard Gilbert Arenas, was injured much of last season, but she showed she’s healthy and ready to run up and down the court. She finished with 19 points and was joined by fellow sophomore MacKenly Randolph, the daughter of former NBA player Zach Randolph. MacKenly Randolph scored 17 points and had 17 rebounds in an 85-40 win over Brentwood.
Also making an impact was 6-foot-2 Crystal Wang, a native of China who scored 17 points. And what a debut for 6-foot sophomore Leia Edwards, who scored 12 points. Sierra Canyon will face Torrance Bishop Montgomery at home on Saturday but appears to be well positioned to win while waiting for Watkins to join the team at the end of next month.
Camarillo 69, Palisades 59: In a well-played matchup between two top teams, it was UCLA-bound Gabriella Jaquez sparking the Scorpions with 36 points. Cal State Fullerton-bound Demonnie Lagway made four threes and finished with 18 points for Palisades. Elise Arnold and Sydney Meskin added 15 points apiece.
Orange Lutheran 60, Saddleback 14: Freshman Hannah Fuentes led the 2-0 Lancers with 11 points.
Santa Monica 62, Hamilton 50: Gus Salem scored 19 points, Joshua Hecht 14 and AJ Economou 13 for the Vikings.
Highland 54, Washington Prep 34: Marcus Hill led Highland with 16 points.
Los Osos 64, Lawndale 37: Deacon Tolliver scored 22 points for 2-0 Los Osos.
Crespi 59, Cleveland 17: Peyton White led the Celts with 13 points.
Windward 82, Venice 72: Freshman Gavin Hightower is averaging more than 30 points after two games. He had 35 points Wednesday. Tony Jones added 24 points.
Damien 87, Hillcrest 50: Jimmy Oladokun had 19 points for the 3-0 Spartans.
Northridge Academy 82, Sun Valley 19: Freshman Kenyon Alexander had 51 points and 15 steals.