Fresh off a CIF-Southern Section semifinal loss to eventual champion Ayala via a controversial no-call at the buzzer, No. 12-seed Perris (25-7) sleepwalked to two points with two minutes left in Tuesday’s first quarter. By the two-minute mark of the third, it had a 24-point lead. With most if its veterans on the bench in foul trouble, No. 5-seed Etiwanda’s youthful lineup stormed to within seven over the next six-and-a-half minutes. But Aisha Sutherland – the most prolific member of Perris’ towering front line Tuesday – quelled the flood, scoring four of her 16 in the final 1:09 to preserve the win. Point guard Brianna Estell made several key plays down the stretch, adding 15 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. “I think they were just a little too big for us,” Etiwanda coach Robert Siler said. “And our foul trouble was big, really big. We play a methodical type of defense and once we got behind they were too good to defend for 94 feet.” The 6-foot-2 Sutherland and 6-4 Natasha Hadley not only plagued the Etiwanda (24-7) frontcourt between the lines, but had much of it on the bench in foul trouble as it took a 34-22 halftime lead. Brianna Goss – at 6-2 the lone Etiwanda regular over six feet – was the earliest victim of the foul trouble. After a 14-2 Perris run that ended early in the second quarter, Goss returned briefly, helping cut the Etiwanda deficit to three. But after she exited with her second foul, Perris ended the half on a 9-2 run, netting it a 34-22 lead. RANCHO CUCAMONGA – For six minutes, the Perris girls basketball team played like it was still stunned. By the time Etiwanda gave it legitimate reason to be, it awoke again. But after Perris’ 70-60 opening-round Division I win in the state playoffs Tuesday, it’s Etiwanda’s dreams that are over.
“I don’t think it was a size issue,” Goss said. “At times, when we didn’t have too many people out of the game, we matched up better with them than they did with us.” Perris bolstered its halftime lead, stretching it to 56-32 after a 10-0 run that ended with 1:19 in the third quarter. Then the stunning comeback was on. The last four of Lyneeka Boyd`s 13 third-quarter points started a 24-7 Etiwanda run. After four consecutive Perris turnovers, the Eagles pulled within 63-56 with 3:32 to play. “You can’t play to not to lose,” Perris coach Marvin Williams said. “We were rushing into mistakes we didn’t have any business making. But in the end I think we were just too big for them.” After the Etiwanda hot streak had cooled, one of Sutherland’s 12 rebounds was good for a putback to make the score 67-56 with 1:09. Boyd scored 14 points for Etiwanda, but Perris added four consecutive points to clinch the win Etiwanda’s starting front line of Boyd, Goss and Bree Bellamy, who scored 10 points each, had three fouls by the two-minute mark of the third quarter. “We were just flat for stretches,” said Siler. “But all in all it was a good season.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!