May 29, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

PHOTOS: Two late free throws lift home team to victory in inaugural Santa Ana Showcase

Halle Broadnax from Santa Ana drives to the basket Friday night. (Photos: Fernando M. Donado, For OC Sports Zone).

Santa Ana High School senior Halle Broadnax, who helped the Saints reach the CIF 5A finals this season, capped her high school career with one final big game Friday night in the inaugural Santa Ana Prep Basketball Showcase at Godinez presented by the RAYA Foundation.

The game featured seniors from the six Santa Ana Unified high schools, divided into two teams called the away team and the home team. The home team held a 31-29 lead at halftime. The game was tied 43-43 going into the final quarter.

Broadnax sank two free throws with 13.7 seconds left to give her squad, the designated home squad, a two point lead and it held held on for a 53-51 victory over the away team. The away squad had two chances in the final seconds to tie the game but came up short.

“It was tough being down for the first few quarters and keep battling,” said Broadnax, who had 13 points. “Being able to come back from being down feels really good.”

To see the slide show, click on the first photo:

Broadnax was happy to sink the two free throws.

“I was missing them all game but you got to him them when it’s clutch,” she said. “That was what I was thinking in my head.”

Broadnax also won the 3-point contest before the game.

The home team also got strong efforts from Saddleback players Julianna Tarrosa, the game’s leading scorer with 20 points and Kaylee Palomino, who had 12 points.

“It was fun, it was a real nail-biter and came down to pretty much a last second shot,” said the home team coach Tony Jarjoura from Santa Ana. “It was exciting and I was glad to be here. I was glad to be on this side of it.

“We tried to get everybody involved, it’s not one team against each other, it’s a collaboration and we were trying to get everybody involved. We had a couple players before when they were supposed to have the first one. I’m really happy and honored to be the first coach and to get the dub.”

The designated away team was led by Marytza Negrete of Segerstrom who had 14 points and Segerstrom’s Brianna Urena, who had 12 points.

“It was a very competitive game,” said the away coach A.J. Alaman from Godinez. “It’s something real special that the RAYA Foundation is doing. To be the first inaugural team to play in this is something special and giving back to the community. I’m glad the girls had one last chance to play one last ttime against girls from their city. It was an exciting game and I’m glad it came down to the wire like that.

“Unfortunately we weren’t on the right end of it but it was for a good cause and I’m proud to be a part of it. A lot of the girls we went up against during the season, to be coaching them was a breath of fresh air.”

The boys game was held after the girls game.

—Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com