Layshia Clarendon admitted her performance Friday night included a lot of acting:
They overcame an absolutely courageous 28-point effort from Clarendon, who, like a wounded prey, labored physically throughout the night.
The 5-8 senior, who has signed a letter of intent to Cal, fell hard to the floor at least a dozen times and often took unusually long rests not only between recovery time but free throws, clearly passing the obsolete and never-called 10-second rule.
Clarendon, later admitting her deliberate and dramatic ways were to give her thin squad a blow, never showed affects in performance. She swished 10 of 11 free throws and was 8 of 17 from the field, including a pair of three-pointers.
While constantly wincing and appearing labored, Clarendon was at her best in the second quarter when Cajon went on a 24-11 run. Despite being harassed by physical man pressure and double teams, she had 14 of them, scoring on driving, acrobatic runners, 3-pointers, pulls-ups and free throws.
The Cowboys also were ignited by three steals and a pair of baskets by sophomore Kori Walker.
Four straight free throws by Clarendon in the final 30 seconds of the half gave Cajon just its second lead, 32-31 at halftime.
This after a 14-2 run to end the first quarter, keyed by two 3-pointers from Haugen and six straight off the bench from Vaioletama, gave the Monarchs a 20-8 first-quarter lead.
Asked how she found the energy when it appeared she was so labored, Clarendon said the delays after whistles were key. Kiernan half-heartedly complained to the referees but later credited Clarendon for being smart. He called the holdups “pseudo timeouts” allowing the Cowboys to rest against the very long Monarchs bench.
“It’s a trick my father taught me a long time ago,” she said with a smile.
I respect her honesty and intelligence, but I still say, why not just call some timeouts? Cajon barely called any, so they had plenty to use.
I don’t get it.
Last night second-ranked Brea Olinda traveled up to Hanford and beat the number-seven team, 78-67. I’d love to dissect some stats, but neither coach has entered any on maxpreps.