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Samuelson delivers CIF win

Bonnie Samuelson records steal and scores improbable game-winner with two seconds left to lift Edison to CIF Division I-A title.

March 04, 2011|By Mike Sciacca, michael.sciacca@latimes.com

ANAHEIM — Bonnie Samuelson sat at the far end of the Edison High bench trying, it appeared, to fathom what had just taken place Tuesday night at Anaheim Arena.

The senior sat stunned among her teammates moments after the completion of the CIF Southern Section Division I-A girls' basketball championship game that pitted No. 1 Edison against No. 2 Troy, looking at the scoreboard, then straight ahead as if in total disbelief. She broke into a wide, almost incredulous smile, then took another look at the scoreboard.

Perhaps soaking up the moment.

Probably checking to see if it all was real.

It was.

"It happened so fast, that I wasn't sure if it was real," she said. "I really can't believe it."

In the waning moments of the game, Edison trailed Troy by a single point and the underdog Warriors held possession with 5.9 seconds to play. On Troy's inbounds pass under the Edison basket, Samuelson guarded the Warriors' Shelby Dougherty, using her wing span to prevent the 5-foot-9 junior guard from inbounding the ball.

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Dougherty's attempt didn't travel far. That's because Samuelson used every inch of her 6-3 frame to block Dougherty's vision, got a piece of the inbounds pass, grabbed the ball in mid-air, turned and shot from about eight feet out from the left side with two seconds left.

Her shot hit nothing but net.

Samuelson looked and pointed toward the delirious Edison cheer squad stationed behind the Edison basket, as if asking, "Did you see that?" The clock ticked away, and the Chargers somehow, some way, pulled out a 45-44 victory to capture the program's first CIF title since 1987 and second overall.

"I thought that I could get a tip on the ball and then suddenly, it was in my hands," said Samuelson who led all scorers with 19 points. "During timeout, coach [Dan Wiley] told us deny, deny, deny on that inbounds pass and if they got it in, to foul right away. I was able to get the tip and somehow came up with the ball. I didn't know how much time was left and I thought the game was over. I just turned and shot.

"I still can't even believe it happened. It's surreal."

It appeared that Troy (27-4) might pull off the win when sophomore guard Briana Roberson fed a wide-open Alecia Dimas for an easy layup that gave the Warriors a 44-42 lead with 1:11 remaining in the game. Edison, which improved to 29-3, drew to within 44-43 when junior wing Rilee Horton hit the second of two free throw attempts with 48 seconds left.

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