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High school basketball: crespi stuns No. 4 Sierra Canyon 64-61 on overtime buzzer-beater

Derek Fisher picks up biggest win of coaching career as Celts close out game on 8-0 run culminating with Joe Sterling’s game-winning 3-pointer.

Crespi (Encino, Calif.) pulled off the biggest upset of the 2023-24 high school basketball season Wednesday in the Mission League semifinals as the Celts stunned No. 4 Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) 64-61 in overtime on a Joe Sterling game-winning 3-pointer.

The four-star sophomore’s bucket punctuated an 8-0 run to end the contest as freshman Carter Barnes knocked down a trey before Sterling converted on field goal prior to his game winner.

Crespi head coach Derek Fisher is accustomed to winning big games as a member of five Los Angeles Lakers championship teams alongside Kobe Bryant. Wednesday, he picked up the biggest win of his brief high school coaching tenure.

In a game of runs, Crespi held an 18-15 advantage at the end of the first quarter before stretching its lead to 35-24 at the half. Sierra Canyon closed the third quarter on a 19-4 run to take a 43-41 edge.

Three-star junior Bryce Cofield tied the contest at 54 on a pair of free throws with 2.4 seconds remaining to force the extra period.

Sterling finished with a game-high 18 points, five rebounds, three assist and three steals, while junior forward Peyton White flirted with a triple-double with 13 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in the signature victory.

Four-star senior Justin Pippen had 17 points, eight assists, six rebounds and three steals in the loss for the Trailblazers.

Crespi (23-6) looks to follow up its big-time win on Friday in the Mission League championship game against No. 12 Harvard-Westlake (Studio City, Calif.). The Wolverines won the previous meeting between the teams 70-55 on Jan. 10.

Sierra Canyon (24-2) closed out the regular season with a rapid rise in the rankings, moving from outside the MaxPreps Top 25 to No. 4 in the country within a two week span after knocking off No. 12 Harvard-Westlake and No. 9 Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) in consecutive weeks. The Trailblazers now await their seeding in CIF postseason play.

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