SANTA CLARITA - A blown fuse caused the Canyon High gym to fall into darkness for a few moments during halftime of Friday's eagerly-anticipated matchup between Hart of Newhall, the Daily News' top-ranked girls' basketball team, and No. 2 Canyon of Canyon Country.
Hart's in-your-face defense had a similar impact during a decisive fourth-quarter run and Taylor Lilley had another big three-point shooting night game for the Indians in a 43-29 Foothill League victory.
Hart (16-4, 4-1) trailed 26-22 late in the third quarter, when its defense keyed a 21-3 run and held Canyon without a field goal.
Hart remains tied for first place with No. 7 Burroughs of Burbank (13-8, 4-1).
The Oregon-bound Lilley scored a game-high 20 points, including hitting five 3-pointers. She set a new school single-season record with 73 3-pointers, breaking her own mark of 70 she'd set two years ago as a sophomore.
Lilley, who broke the school single-game 3-point record with nine on Tuesday, has hit a stunning 19 3-pointers in her last three games, including a 10-for-12 stretch from beyond the arc.
She delivered the big blow for Hart, hitting a 3-pointer from more than five feet beyond the arc with just under two minutes remaining that barely beat the shot clock and broke open a 34-29 game.
"We hung in there, but when you have a player like (Lilley) who can score at will, it's tough," Canyon coach Stan Delus said.
But the talk among Hart players and coaches after the game centered on its defense.
"Our defense was huge," Lilley said.
Said Hart coach Dave Munroe: "We pride ourselves on defense. We're relentless. I think it wears them down. It tires them to where they're not as strong in the half court."
Junior forward Tatianna scored 13 points and had 10 rebounds.
Canyon (17-4, 3-2) was led by Cheryl Stevens, a senior 6-foot-4 center, who scored 12 points.
Gideon Rubin, (818)713-3607