WOODLAND HILLS– El Camino Real trailed 18-7 after the first quarter, and Granada Hills Charter was 7-0 in league play this season. Behind a charged senior night effort, the Conquistadors held them to 25 points in the final three quarters and pulled off the 43-37 comeback victory. Rebecca Saidoff–a senior–led them with 20 points. Here are five observations from the game.

KOBE BRYANT JERSEYS

El Camino Real came out warming up in Kobe Bryant jerseys, shirts, and jackets.

GHC DOMINATING THE PAINT

Granada Hills Charter has a truly dominant frontcourt in Haylee Aiden and Samiyah Muhammad. Aiden scored 17 of GHC’s 37 points in efficient fashion, in addition to several rebounds and a small handful of both blocks and assists. She had eight points in the first quarter and it just didn’t seem like ECR had the size and length to match up with GHC. Let alone to figure it out on the fly down 11 to the top-ranked team in the City Section.

Highlanders girls basketball

SENIOR NIGHT ATMOSPHERE

girls basketball Conquistadors

Not all senior nights actually ignite a dramatic spark or fuel an incredible atmosphere. This one did. El Camino Real played with such outstanding energy, and they had a particularly charged fan section matching their energy as well. For matchup reasons, they really needed it.

El Camino Real Conquistadors

ECR’s ENERGY AND SHOOTING

By no means did Granada Hills Charter come out flat. They battled and played with motor all game long, especially their frenetic defense. But ECR’s energy literally every minute of the game was next-level. They both forced an enormous amount of turnovers by trapping/pressing in space and also packed the paint while still rotating back to the perimeter. In the fourth quarter, they only gave up five total points.

Additionally, El Camino Real can play close to five-out in the half-court because they basically play with three or four guards, one or two forwards, and no traditional centers at all times. Without getting into the paint much, they got enough good looks from three and mid-range to give themselves a chance, and converted a lot of them after the first six minutes or so of the game.

Making the victory yet more impressive was that ECR battled with injuries. Saidoff and F Iliana Camua both went down with injuries to the knee area during the game that looked potentially serious, and both ended up coming back to contribute significantly to the win. Yet another key Conquistador went down with an injury to the knee or immediate knee area that looked potentially scary and did not return, although it appeared after the game that there was possibly less concern about the significance of the injury going forward.

PLAYOFF RAMIFICATIONS

With this win, El Camino Real gives themselves a chance at a league title and a top-two or top-three seed in the playoffs if GHC loses to either Taft or Birmingham–two worthy adversaries. This win might be enough for the third seed either way.

And it will definitely give them a huge boost going into the playoffs where there’s a solid chance that Granada Hills Charter will be one of the last teams standing between them and a title. If that were to happen, that would of course also be an opportunity for GHC to get revenge on ECR for ending their undefeated league run.

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