Late Cajon run secures win over Thunderbirds in important CBL contest

Julianne LeClair makes a great shot over a Cajon defender.

Cajon High School spoiled the best game of Yucaipa senior Katelyn Holt’s basketball career by outscoring host YHS 12-1 in the final three minutes for a 59-48 win in a crucial Citrus Belt League game last Thursday. Cajon improved to 4-0 in CBL (13-5 overall). YHS, the two-time defending CBL champion is now 3-1 (12-7 overall).

After twice trailing by eight points in the first half, Holt put the Thunderbirds on her back by scoring 10 of her 18 total points in just three minutes of the third quarter, getting YHS within one point. Julienne LeClair’s follow up basket gave the T-Birds its first lead of the game.

YHS coach Jeremy Hoch said a three-pointer by Cajon's Kamaya Middleton changed the outcome of the game. It came in the fourth quarter when Middleton's long three swished the net at the shot clock buzzer, giving Cajon a 50-47 lead.

“That three-point shot gave them a momentum boost and we didn’t answer with a basket at the end,” said Hoch. “We played the way we wanted but they hit the big shots and were able to finish. It was a tough loss.”

Cajon was able to shoot over Yucaipa’s strong defense by making eight, three-pointers. YHS was able to connect on four.

YHS mounted another earlier comeback when Grace Estrada and Tori Guzman made good on back-to-back three-pointers, good for a 43-42 lead. YHS held its largest lead, 46-43 after Holt scored with just over four minutes left. Guzman finished with 16 points. LeClair totaled seven points and nine rebounds. Cajon’s Talia Washington scored 15 and Zaniaya Dancy totaled 12 points and 16 rebounds.

“Yucaipa is a good team. Very structured and disciplined,” said Cajon coach Leon Washington. “I learn from them by watching their warmups. We’ve got a very young squad and I’m trying to help them through the chaos. Tonight, we finished and didn’t get paranoid at the end.”

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