Centennial fans call her "Shorty," she's listed at a generous 5-2, but all that mattered at Edison on Wednesday night was Alyssa Gonzales' giant performance that carried the ninth-ranked Golden Hawks to a 56-52 upset of the No. 3 Tigers, who entered 12-1.
"It's always in me, it's just a matter of bringing it out," Gonzales said after delivering 24 points, eight steals and eight assists for a Southwest Yosemite League team that arrived 5-6 in a season that opened with losses to Clovis (56-36) and Bullard (36-33) at the Clovis West Nike Tournament.
She owned the final 50 seconds after Edison -- once down by 13 points in the first half -- had taken a 52-51 lead on Liz Randles' driving bank shot.
Gonzales, a four-year varsity starter and three-time all-leaguer, then stole the ball, scored on a sprawling drive, stole the ball again, made a free throw, rebounded her own free-throw miss and made two more free throws for the final margin.
"Without her, they're toast," Edison coach Bill Engel said. "We had seen them play numerous times and they didn't have this energy, not even close. This was their Valley. They came to play, and they knew it was big for (D-I) seeding."
It was only Engel's 12th loss in 105 games in four seasons with the Tigers girls, whom he led to three consecutive section titles from 1997-99 before returning this season.
Edison rallied behind Jerrene Richardson, a junor guard, who scored eight of her 13 points within 3 minutes of the third quarter. And 6-2 post Rodjanae Wade (10 points, 12 rebounds) had taken over inside before Gonzales had the final say.