Favela scores 1,000th point and game-winning basket
Photos and Story
By Christian Romo
Westridge senior Juliana Favela (34) scored her 1,000th Prep League point, and it wasn’t even her biggest basket of the game.
Favela’s 22 points helped the visiting Westridge Tigers (11-8, 7-4 Prep) hold off the Mayfield Cubs (6-14, 3-7 Prep), 48-45, Tuesday night in Pasadena. Favela scored the game-winning layup and subsequent free throw with 24 seconds left off an inbounds play facilitated by senior Stephanie Davis (15). “That play is really clutch when we need two [points],” said Favela. “Me and Steph have really good chemistry, we’ve been playing since we were in middle school, so I knew she would make that pass.”
The Cubs jumped out to an 11-2 lead in the first quarter and hung with the Tigers throughout, tying the game in the final minute on a free throw by Malayna Domingo (14). “I thought we played well, we just came up short,” said Mayfield coach Kevin Yamamoto. “We had the intensity, but had some costly turnovers at the end, and the other team made huge baskets.” Domingo and junior Trinity Gomez (3) flustered the Tiger defense with aggressive drives and clutch shooting from beyond the three-point line. “We have a pretty young team, and we can definitely build on this game,” said Yamamoto.
The Tigers took their first lead only after two straight baskets to start the 3rd quarter. “I thought after a slow start, we really came together,” said Westridge coach Melanie Horn. “On several occasions throughout the game, they executed the offense to perfection, and on the defensive end we did what we needed to do to get the stops,” she added. Senior Sarah Rozario (4) hit three three-pointers while Davis commanded the paint with seven rebounds and four blocks, helping the Tigers secure a spot in the CIF playoffs.
But even before tipoff, the night was Favela’s, who needed only eleven points to reach 1,000 in her Prep League career. Her team marked the milestone in the middle of the second quarter by stopping play after Favela’s free throw, unraveling a banner with a green “1,000” and inviting her to join the sideline celebration. “I got chills…as a freshman I was starting, and it’s been key to my development as a player,” said Favela of her high school career. “The way she comports herself with good sportsmanship, and the way she hustles end to end, she’s a mentor and a role model to her teammates, and she also gets it done,” said Horn.
With the win, the Tigers are guaranteed a playoff spot and at least a fourth-place finish in league. Favela wants to take that momentum into preparations for CIF: “[We need to work on] being composed and coming out with lots of energy, because when we come out strong, we end stronger.”