Basketball Jordan

CIF Girls’ Basketball: Jordan Beats La Serna, Returns to Quarterfinals

The562’s coverage of Jordan Athletics is sponsored by former LBUSD superintendent Chris Steinhauser.

Whether you play your best basketball or not, the playoffs are about one thing: winning.

The Jordan girls’ basketball team didn’t have its best night on Saturday evening in J-Town, but the final buzzer still sounded as sweet as ever after their 40-29 victory over La Serna. It’s the 21st time the Panthers have been able to celebrate a victory this season, and this one will send them to the CIF-SS quarterfinals for the second year in a row.

“A lot of credit to La Serna, they didn’t go away, and we knew going into it that they were gonna fight the whole game,” said Jordan head coach Wesley Rosenbaum. “We talked about with the girls that we knew it wasn’t our best performance. But it doesn’t matter, because we won. And we can correct those things and move forward. So I’m proud that they were able to stay composed when it counted, and make some big shots.”

Senior guard Asia Edwards made her share of big shots on her way to a team-high 12 points, while backcourt mate Bryanna Moran added 11 for Jordan. Edwards did a little bit of everything, as usual, especially in crunch time to help J-Town hang onto the win.

“We just know it’s win or go home, so you’ve got to put everything on the floor, do whatever you can, sacrifice your body to be able to pull out the win,” said Edwards. “And all together stick together as a team and in the end come out with a win, and that’s what we did. It was tough at times, but we stuck with it and I’m grateful for that.”

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With La Serna trailing by just four points, 28-24, with 3:30 left, Edwards collected a steal and transition layup to put the Panthers up by six. From that point on, she did the little things to help the team win while her teammates scored the final 10 points of the night. Edwards had three rebounds, two steals and an assist in that final stretch to help put the game away.

Perhaps the biggest shot of the night was from Moran, who drilled a corner three off an assist from Edwards, whose dribble drive was able to lure in a double team and open up Jordan’s top perimeter shooter.

“It just takes chemistry and trusting your teammates,” Edwards explained. “And being able to make that pass and to trust them to finish it and put points on the board. It was just all collectively good. I’m excited.”

After La Serna opened the scoring with a three-pointer, J-Town rattled off the next 10 points to close out the opening quarter. The lead remained at seven, 19-12, as the teams went into halftime, and it was still just a 26-20 lead for the Panthers after three.

The Lancers twice cut the deficit to four points in the final frame, helped on by the perimeter shooting of Danae Covarrubias, who ended with a game-high 14 points.

The visitors couldn’t get any closer, however, as J-Town passed the ball well out of double teams to get open looks late. Breana Patu had a nice bucket inside and Savannah Hernandez cashed in a three-ball to secure the win.

Coach Rosenbaum called it a “gutty performance” from his team, who now advance to the same spot where they finished last season. This year, the Panthers are in a higher playoff division, but they’ve also got more experience competing–and winning–in the postseason.

“I think last year, it was a big accomplishment to get to the playoffs,” Rosenbaum said. “And then we were fortunate enough to get to the quarterfinals, and in many ways we were playing with house money, we wanted to go as far as we could. But this year is a different set of expectations … We know what it takes. We know that you have to make big plays in big moments. You can’t sit back and wait for it to happen. You’ve got to go in and take it.”

This time the Panthers will play their quarterfinal game on their home court, hosting St. Monica Prep on Wednesday night at 7 p.m.

VIDEO: Jordan vs. La Serna, CIF Girls’ Basketball
Tyler Hendrickson
Tyler Hendrickson was born and raised in Long Beach, and started covering sports in his hometown in 2010. After five years as a sportswriter, Tyler joined the athletic department at Long Beach State University in 2015. He spent more than four years in the athletic communications department, working primarily with the Dirtbags baseball program. Tyler also co-authored of The History of Long Beach Poly: Scholars & Champions.