The Westchester girls basketball team (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)
The Westchester girls basketball team (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

The Westchester Lady Comets basketball team defeated the Venice Gondoliers 71-57 to clinch the division I City Section Championship title. Westchester has made three championship appearances in the last four years, winning a title in 2015.

“We only had one goal and that one goal was to get this ring and to get this trophy,” said Lady Comets senior Briana Anugwom. “Last year, we were in the same position and lost in overtime.”

Sophomore Destiny Brown earned a triple-double with 23 points, 26 rebounds and 10 blocks for the Lady Comets. Senior Melissa Kitagawa contributed 18 points and two rebounds for the Gondoliers.

“We just started coming together and we haven’t hit the mountain top yet,” said Westchester coach Darryl Gowens. “When these girls are on all cylinders, I don’t think that there’s anybody that could beat us.”

The Lady Comets edged their score up to six points in the first two minutes of the game. Three-pointers from Venice guards Melissa Kitagawa and Chyna Dews kept the game competitive. However, Westchester remained dominant, ending the first quarter at 18-14 in their favor.

The Gondoliers heated up in the second period; Venice went on a 8-2 run led by a pair of three-pointers by Dews. By the halftime buzzers, both teams were tied at 28 points.

Westchester found their groove in the third quarter from the offensive contributions of Destiny Brown and Anugwom. Ricki Todd and Kitagawa continued to execute plays, but came up short as the Lady Comets had the 50-41 advantage at the end of the third period.

Senior Erianna Gowdy nailed two consecutive three-pointers early in the fourth quarter to help Westchester secure their lead. Brown edged the score to 60 points while the Gondoliers trialed at 43. Venice went on an eight-point run in the final minutes of the game, but could not surpass the Lady Comets.

“Briana (Anugwom) is the face of the school, but Heyavin (Johnson) is the foundation,” said Gowens. “Anytime Heyavin comes to play, there’s no better guard in L.A. City,”