CLAYTON - On Saturday, Jessica Canary scored 27 points, grabbed eight boards and had four blocks in her final game as a member of the South Putnam Eagles' basketball team.
But it wasn't enough as the Eagles fell to the Monrovia Bulldogs, 54-44, in overtime in the championship game of the Cascade Sectional.
From the start of game, South Putnam struggled. No matter where on the court they shot, nothing was falling.
'We had the shots, but they just didn't fall for us and that's how it goes sometimes,' SPHS Coach Debbie Steffy said.
The Eagles matched the Bulldogs' 16 points in the first quarter with some superb free throw shooting. The Eagles scored 10 of their 16 first quarter points from the charity stripe on 10-of-12 shooting. Canary hit seven of the 10, with her last three tying the game at 16 after one quarter of play.
Everything looked good for the Eagles after battling back and tying the game, but their fortune ran out in the second quarter.
South Putnam took the lead when Meghan Canary hit two freebies with just over six minutes left in the half, but all that changed in about 11 seconds. For the next 4:30 minutes, Monrovia owned the court, going on a 9-0 spurt, putting themselves seven pushing ahead seven at 25-18.
At the half the Bulldogs led the Eagles 28-22.
The third quarter, proved to be the Eagles best quarter of the night. As they outscored the Bulldogs 12-9, thanks to Jessica Canary.
Jessica Canary took charge in the last part of the quarter, scoring 10 of South Putnam's points and brought the Eagles within three points, while their defense held Monrovia offense to single digits, giving up only nine points.
The defense and offense didn't let up in fourth period either, as the Eagles held the Bulldogs to single digits in the fourth quarter, giving up seven points, while the Canary sisters and Oceaia Boetjer gave the Eagles hope.
Ninety seconds into the quarter, Meghan Canary nailed a jump shot to pull the Eagles within one point of the lead at 37-36 and one minute later, Jessica Canary hit the shot that gave the Eagles the lead at 38-37. Monrovia retaliated with a small 4-0 spurt to get back the lead, but the Eagles pulled within two again after a pair of points from Jessica Canary at the free throw line.
The Bulldogs answered back with a small three-point burst to gain back the lead with 90 seconds left in the game.
The Eagles were down by four but with a minute left, the Bulldogs fouled Boetjer, a freshman, sending her to the line for two. The pressure was on, but Boetjer didn't sweat as she hit and drained both free throws to put the Eagles within two points of the lead.
Monrovia tried everything it could to keep the ball out of Jessica Canary's hands, but it didn't work. With seven seconds left on the clock, Jessica Canary turned around and drained a fade away jumper to tie the game and send it into overtime.
Unfortunately, South Putnam's defense couldn't hold back the Bulldogs determination as they went on a 10-0 run to seal the game and take home the Sectional 45 championship.
'In the overtime, we just couldn't get anything to go for us,' Steffy said. 'Defensively, we played a much better game against them this time, than we did the last time we played them.
'Monrovia's bread and butter are the back door cuts and easy buckets, and I felt that we took more of that away from them (Saturday) than before,' Steffy said.
'I'm very proud of those girls in that locker room. They played hard and did a great job defensively,' Steffy added.
Along with Jessica Canary's points, the Eagles received help from Meghan Canary who scored eight points while Boetjer came through for four points. Liz Mink scored three points and Dara Booe chipped in two points.
The Eagles finished the season with an overall record of 15-7 and 4-2 in the West Central Conference. Along with Jessica Canary, Booe will gradute.
(Championship game of Sectional 45)
Monrovia 16 12 9 7 10 - 54
S. Putnam 16 6 12 10 0 - 44
SP - Robinson 0 0-0 0, M. Canary 2 4-4 8, J. Canary 7 13-15 27, Stanifer 0 0-0 0, Birt 0 0-0 0, Boetjer 0 4-5 4, Booe 1 0-0 2, Searless 0 0-0 0, Haynes 0 0-0 0, Mink 1 1-2 3, Butts 0 0-0 0, Mchugh 0 0-0 0. Totals 11-52, 22-26, TP 44.
MO - Smith 0 0-0 0, Long 2 3-5 11, Black 7 4-5 16, Parsons 0 0-0 0, Speck 0 3-6 3, Harris 0 2-2 2, Hadley 6 6-8 18, Funk 0 2-2 2, Dillion 1 1-2 3, Dorsett 0 0-0 0, Long 0 0-0 0, Porter 0 0-0 0, Engel 0 0-0 0. Totals 16-40, 21-30, TP 54.
3pt - SP 0, MO 1 (Long), Rebounds - SP 22 (J. Canary 8), MO 25 (Hadley 13). Steals - SP 8 (J. Canary 4), MO 6 (two players with two each). Assists - SP 2 (Meghan Canary 1, Boetjer 1), MO 6 (Long 4). Blocks - SP 4 (J. Canary 4), MO 1 (Hadley).
South Putnam finished 15-7 overall and 4-2 in the WCC.