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Edison wins in miracle finish

Down one, Bonnie Samuelson steals inbounds pass and scores with two seconds left to give Chargers their first CIF title since 1987.

March 09, 2011|By Mike Sciacca, michael.sciacca@latimes.com
  • Edison's Bonnie Samuelson, left, is embraced by her sister Karlie after Bonnie hit the winning shot with two seconds remaining to lift the Chargers to a 45-44 victory over Troy in the CIF Southern Section Division 1A girls' basketball championship game at Anaheim Arena.
Edison's Bonnie Samuelson, left, is embraced by… (KENT TREPTOW, HB…)

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

The senior sat stunned among her teammates moments after the completion of the March 3 CIF Southern Section girls' basketball Division 1A championship game that pitted No. 1 Edison against No. 2 Troy. She'd break into a wide, almost incredulous smile, then 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 of the basketball 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. Dougherty's attempt didn't travel far. That's because Samuelson used every inch of her 6-2 frame to block Dougherty's vision, got a piece of the pass, grabbed the ball in mid-air, turned and shot from about eight feet out from the left side with two seconds left.

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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 some how, 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."

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