SUNSET GIRLS: Jordan’s clutch shots lift Centennial past Gorman

Tramina Jordan waited her entire high school basketball career for a starring role in the Centennial-Bishop Gorman girls basketball rivalry.

When the spotlight finally found the Bulldog senior guard in the final minute of Friday’s Sunset Region final at Durango, she was more than ready.

Jordan made 7 of 8 free throws in the final 40.9 seconds to lift Centennial to a 66-59 win over the Gaels. The Bulldogs (24-5) captured their fourth straight region title and will compete in the Division I state tournament, which begins Thursday in Reno.

Centennial won for the seventh time in the 12 consecutive region final meetings between the teams.

“It feels amazing,” Jordan said. “Eventually your time will come. My time came. I’m a senior. I had to step it up.”

Jordan, who stands just 5-feet, 4-inches tall, can easily go unnoticed on the basketball court. It was impossible to miss her in the closing stretch.

“I had to do it for my team,” Jordan said. “We put in work, dedication, sacrifice, everything we’ve got. I had to do it.”

The Bulldogs, who aren’t always the most prolific free-throw shooting team, were 16 of 23 from the line in the game, including a 9-for-10 effort by Jordan, who had nine of her 15 points in the fourth quarter.

“Tramina can shoot free throws,” Centennial coach Karen Weitz said. “Whenever we have competitive situations in practice, Tramina is always the one who wants to step up and shoot free throws. Tramina is pretty mentally tough.”

Centennial struggled to contain Gorman starting post players Raychel Stanley and Maddison Washington, who combined to score 10 points during a 12-0 run that gave the Gaels a 37-29 lead midway through the third quarter.

Stanley and Washington both stand 6-2. Centennial’s tallest player is listed at 5-9.

But the Bulldogs got key contributions from junior twins Ioana and Ivana Ganeva, who came off the bench to combine for 11 points, and from senior twin guards Paige and Simone Barber, who celebrated their 18th birthday Friday.

Simone Barber scored 11 points, and Paige Barber had eight points, including a 3-pointer from the right wing that gave the Bulldogs a 48-43 lead with 5:33 to play.

“Ioana and Ivana were a great spark. I have to give a ton of credit to both of those girls,” Weitz said. “Paige hit some big shots and took a couple of charges, and Simone is just smart at the point.”

Centennial carried a 55-48 lead into the final minute, and Simone Barber and Teirra Hicks each went 2-for-2 from the free-throw line before Jordan closed the show.

Hicks also had 11 points for Centennial, who split their two regular-season meetings with Gorman.

“It’s the most we’ve been mismatched in terms of height,” Weitz said. “The girls listened. We made some adjustments.”

Stanley paced Gorman (21-6) with 20 points and 15 rebounds. Megan Jacobs had 18 points, and Washington added 14 points for the Gaels.

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