Hedges leads Providence Hall to Bird Cage Classic crown

Tournament MVP Sydney Hedges of Providence Hall averaged 26 points in the Bird Cage Classic. She scored 19 in title win over L.A. Grant

Sydney Hedges capped an amazing tournament performance by scoring 19 points to help rally the Providence Hall girls basketball team to a 36-35 victory over L.A. Grant for the championship of the Bird Cage Classic on Saturday at Bishop Diego.

Hedges made 8 of 15 shots to help the Lions win their first tournament title in program history. She was named MVP.

The Lions rallied from a seven-point deficit in the fourth quarter. Olivia Barroca sparked the comeback by making a 3-pointer with four seconds left on the shot clock. She then hit a 17-footer to make it a two-point game.

The teams exchanged baskets and at the two-minute mark Lacey Gonzalez made a layup on a pass from Hedges to give the Lions a one-point lead. Sydney then scored on a scramble under the basket to make it a three-point advantage with about 1:14 to go.

After Grant scored on a driving layup to make it 36-35 with about 26 seconds to go, Providence Hall turned the ball over at mid-court with 18 seconds to go. The Lancers had a player all alone at the basket, but the Grant coach called time out.

After the time out, Grant missed a short jumper and Gonzalez got the rebound and was fouled with 4.1 on the clock. She missed the front end of the one and one. Grant got the rebound but time expired before it could get off a shot.

“I am extremely proud of the way my team battled backed from deficits in the last two games,” Providence Hall coach Ernesto Quiroz said. “Overcoming a 7-point deficit in the 4th quarter of a game where we really never established an offensive rhythm is huge. I preach the need to play hard for 32 minutes each time we take the floor and my girls did exactly that to secure the school’s first tournament championship.”

Gonzalez and Olivia Johnson each scored six points for Providence Hall, and Gonzalez was named to the all-tournament team.

Hedges averaged 26.3 points, 13.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 4.5 blocks in the tournament.