Sierra Canyon rallies to defeat No. 1 Sherman Oaks Notre Dame


In a celebrity-filled, sold-out Sierra Canyon gymnasium featuring Bronny James, Scottie Pippen and Mookie Betts sitting courtside, fans were treated to one of the great comebacks of the 2023-24 high school basketball season Friday night.

Down 17 points early in the fourth quarter to The Times’ No. 1 team in Southern California, Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, the Trailblazers unleashed a relentless full-court press to produce a flurry of turnovers, leading to a stunning 81-75 victory. The win makes Sierra Canyon (24-1) the No. 1 seed for next week’s Mission League tournament and propels the Trailblazers into a likely No. 1 ranking in Southern California.

Notre Dame (24-1) opened a 66-49 lead and appeared in complete control. Then the Knights self-destructed in the face of Sierra Canyon’s pressure defense. Noah Williams tied the game 73-73 on two free throws with 1:42 left. Bryce Cofield gave Sierra Canyon the lead for good with a basket with 1:17 left.

Justin Pippen scored 19 points, Isaiah Elohim had 18 points and Cofield finished with 14 points. Mercy Miller scored 28 points for Notre Dame and Lino Mark had 21. Mark was held scoreless in the fourth quarter after propelling Notre Dame into the lead by repeatedly attacking the basket and scoring on drives. But he said he pulled a muscle in the fourth quarter and was wincing in pain. Pippen finally took a charging foul against Mark late in the fourth quarter, which symbolized the comeback using defense. Getting Mark back next week will be important for the Knights.

Notre Dame had beaten Sierra Canyon four consecutive times last season when James was around. His brother, Bryce, made two threes and a basket to help the Trailblazers this time.

Sierra Canyon gets to avoid playing Notre Dame or Harvard-Westlake until the league championship game next Friday if the Trailblazers make it.

Harvard-Westlake 64, St. Francis 33: Nikolas Khamenia led the Wolverines with 12 points.

Crespi 61, Bishop Alemany 58: Joe Sterling finished with 17 points for the Celts.

JSerra 67, Orange Lutheran 58: Aidan Fowler had 21 points and Sebastian Rancik 19 for JSerra.

St. John Bosco 64, Santa Margarita 55: Brandon McCoy had 28 points for the Braves. Dallas Washington scored 20 points for the Eagles.

Damien 61, Los Osos 34: Nate Garcia’s 19 points led Damien, which is tied with Etiwanda for first place in the Baseline League going into a showdown next week.

Rancho Cucamonga 84, Chino Hills 69: Aaron Glass scored 28 points for Rancho Cucamonga.

Westchester 50, University 29: Dillon Chelsey and Kevin Lemle each scored 10 points to keep the Comets in first place in the Western League.

Fairfax 73, Venice 70: Joseph Riggins scored 22 points and Jaden Depina made the winning three-pointer with two seconds left for Fairfax.

LACES 72, Hamilton 53: Ian Hunter scored 24 points and Ryan Conner had 21 points for LACES.

Washington Prep 59, Crenshaw 37: The Generals took over second place in the Coliseum League.

Grant 73, Sun Valley Poly 68: Anthony Minoy had 17 points for Grant in an overtime win. JD Wyatt scored 40 points for Poly.

Legacy 75, Bell 44: Damian Gaona had 32 points and 13 rebounds for Legacy.

San Pedro 57, Rancho Dominguez 46: Chim Emegwa finished with 19 points for San Pedro, which is 6-2 in the Marine League.

Rolling Hills Prep 52, Bosco Tech 46: Mateo Trujillo scored 16 points for Rolling Hills Prep.

Calabasas 75, Newbury Park 57: Tidiane Sy scored 24 points for Calabasas.

Westlake 65, Thousand Oaks 60: Danny Bao scored 20 points for Westlake in a key Marmonte League win.

Lynwood 91, Downey 84: Jason Crowe Jr. scored 42 points for Lynwood.

Los Alamitos 77, Newport Harbor 64: Tyler Lopez led Los Alamitos with 16 points.

St. Pius X-St. Matthias 63, St. Bernard 61: Tyrone Riley finished with 24 points for St. Pius X-St. Matthias, which is unbeaten in the Del Rey League.

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