Sierra Canyon’s Juju Watkins dazzles at USC’s Galen Center in win over La Jolla Country Day

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LOS ANGELES — Sierra Canyon girls basketball star Juju Watkins’ skills were on display. She would sky for rebounds, set up teammates for shots, and of course, wow the crowd with her off-the-charts shot-making ability.

Watkins would slither to the basket for a crafty finish one moment and hit a step-back 3-pointer the next. It was like peering into a crystal ball. The only thing missing was Watkins draped in cardinal and gold as the USC-bound guard went on to tally 30 points and 19 rebounds in an eventual 64-55 victory over La Jolla Country Day at the Galen Center, the home of the Trojans.

“It gave me a preview of what it’s going to be like next year,” Watkins said. “This made me more confident in my decision.”

Left-handed little in-and-out dribble to a stepback jumper. Pure. Juju Watkins has 16pts and 9rebs at halftime. Sierra Canyon leads La Jolla Country Day 31-26.

— Tarek Fattal (@Tarek_Fattal) January 8, 2023

USC’s quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams was courtside.

“I invited him. I’m really glad he showed up,” Watkins said.

Sierra Canyon junior Mackenley Randolph had 11 point and nine rebounds. Freshman center Emilia Krstevski, who’s only 14 years old, had 10 points and eight rebounds in 30 minutes. Krstevski was matched up with La Jolla Country Day’s Breya Cunningham, who’s considered one of the top centers in the country and is signed to play at Arizona.

“She held her own,” Sierra Canyon coach Alicia Komaki said. “We are so proud of her. Juju has never given more hugs to someone in a game before.”

Juju Watkins off a screen. Pull-up jumper. She’s already got 12pts, 9rebs with four minutes to play in the second quarter.

Sierra Canyon 23, La Jolla Country Day 21

— Tarek Fattal (@Tarek_Fattal) January 8, 2023

Sierra Canyon moves to 16-0 with the win, which could play a factor later in the season when it comes to regional playoffs and could see La Jolla Country Day – from the CIF San Diego Section – again en route to a second straight appearance in Open Division State title game.

La Jolla Country Day was led by Jada Williams’ 19 points and Cunningham’s 14 points. Williams and Cunningham are committed to Arizona.

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