After a losing a 71-67 heartbreaker to Chino Hills in the Fairfax State Preview Showcase on Jan. 30 at Cerritos College, Bishop Montgomery High’s boys’ basketball team and numerous prep boys’ basketball fans were hoping to see another contest between the two nationally ranked teams. It happened in the Southern California Regional Open Division championship Saturday in a standing room only crowd of 4,556 fans last Saturday night at the Cal State Long Beach Pyramid. The Huskies, however, proved too much for the Knights in an 84-62 rout.
Chino Hills started fast on Bishop Montgomery in starting the game with a 13-2 lead but the Knights, behind sophomore David Singleton, went on a 8-1 run to cut the Huskies’ lead to 14-10 early in the second quarter, behind Singleton’s three-point basket. Chino Hills went on to lead 26-11 before Bishop Montgomery closed the first half with a 6-2 run to trail 28-17 at halftime. The Knights had a strong defensive effort in holding the extremely high scoring Huskies to just 28 first half points, one of the lowest for a half this season for Chino Hills.
The second half, though, saw the Huskies start with an 18-2 run to go out to a 46-19 lead and continued to have a commanding lead from there. Leading 56-31 after three quarters, Chino Hills continued its “Showtime” basketball pushing its lead to as much as 32 points before clearing the bench.
The Huskies were led by UCLA-bound junior LiAngelo Ball with 27 points. LiAngelo’s senior brother, Lonzo, who will be playing for the Bruins next season, added 13 points and 10 assists. The Knights, who ended their season at 28-3, were led by Singleton with a game-high 33 points, including scoring 14 of Bishop Montgomery’s 17 first half points. Jordan Schakel, who was held without a field goal in the first half, finished with 12 points.
Chino Hills is 33-0 overall and enter Saturday’s CIF-State Championship game against Northern California Open Division champion De La Salle from Concord, starting at 8 p.m. at the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento.l The Spartans edged San Ramon Valley 41-40 in their regional final last Saturday at the Sleep Train Arena.
Bishop Montgomery entered the final with a 72-56 win over San Diego Cathedral Catholic last Tuesday at El Camino College. Schaekel led the Knights with 21 points.
The Knights return their entire starting lineup and will definitely be one of the top contenders for the state Open Division crown for 2017. Bishop Montgomery is ranked 16th in the United States and could even have a shot at the national title. Chino Hills, though, only loses Lonzo as the other four starters return, including LiAngelo and current freshman LeMelo Ball.
St. Bernard advances to California Division V final: St. Bernard High’s boys’ basketball team avenged its 73-57 CIF-Southern Section Division VA championship loss to Temecula Rancho Christian on March 5 at Godinez High in Santa Ana with a 67-61 win over the Eagles for the Southern California Regional Division V championship last Saturday at Colony High in Ontario. The Vikings move on to play St. Joseph-Notre Dame High from Alameda for the California Division V crown Saturday at noon at the Sleep Train Arena.
The Vikings were led by senior Adam Amanuel with 28 points, including converting on all five of his three-point baskets. He shot 78 percent from the field, making 11 of 14 shots.
St. Bernard also played outstanding defense that included 11 steals that led to points. Senior Robert Fuller pressured the Eagles forcing them into numerous turnovers. Fuller also scored 19 points for the Vikings, who improved to 25-9.
In the regional semifinals on March 15 at top seed St. Joseph High in Santa Maria, St. Bernard came out with a 75-66 victory. Fuller led the Vikings with a game-high 30 points and 11 rebounds.
The Vikings will be seeking their first ever state crown. St. Bernard advanced to the state Division V championship game against St. Joseph-Notre Dame in 2011 but fell on the short end of a 47-44 score. That Viking squad was head coached by now Redondo High mentor Reggie Morris, Jr.
Redondo falls in overtime: A rash of fouls and key blocked shots by Crespi sophomore Brandon Williams put an end to the Sea Hawks’ season in a 66-63 overtime loss last Saturday at the Cal State Long Beach Pyramid.
With the score tied at 56 with 18 seconds to go in regulation, senior Morgan Means attempted a 12-foot jumper. It was blocked by Williams, who is regarded as one of the top sophomore players in the United States. In the overtime period with the Celts ahead 62-60 with 21 seconds remaining, junior Ryse Williams had his shot blocked by Williams. It came shortly after he cut Crespi’s lead to 62-60 on two free throws.
With the Celts ahead 64-60 with seven seconds left, Means converted on a three-pointer cutting Crespi’s lead to 64-63. Shortly afterward, both Redondo and Crespi battled for the ball as Morris called a time out with none left. That resulted into a technical on the Sea Hawk bench as Taj Regans made both free throws and the Celts retained the ball, running the clock out with their second consecutive regional crown and state championship appearance. Crespi won the California Division IV championship last season and will face Berkeley for the title Thursday at 8 p.m. at the Sleep Train Arena.
Williams chipped in a game-high 19 points to lead the Celts. University of Southern California-bound senior De’Anthony Melton contributed 16 points.
Redondo had four players score in double figures, behind Green with 15 points, but he fouled out in the overtime period that hampered the Sea Hawks’ hopes of winning and advancing to the state championship for the second time in four seasons. Three years ago, Redondo won the State Division II crown over Pleasanton College Park 54-47 at the Sleep Train Arena. That was Morris’ first team. Ryse Williams finished with 13 points and Means and Wesley Gilbert each had 11. Means swished in three three-pointers.
Fouls plagued the Sea Hawks. In the game, Redondo totaled 31 fouls that led Crespi (31-4) to 22 converted free throws to 12 for the Sea Hawks, who ended their season at 28-7. It was Crespi’s second playoff win over Redondo. In the CIF-Southern Section Open Division consolation final on March 3 in Encino, the Celts, behind 16 three-pointers, rolled over the Sea Hawks 89-71.
In the regional semifinal last Tuesday at Redondo, Means made two free throws with 1.8 seconds left in the game to help the Sea Hawks pull out a 63-62 win over Harbor City Narbonne, the CIF-Los Angeles City Open Division runner-up behind Westchester. Guard Elijah Nesbit led Redondo with a game-high 16 points, four assists and three steals. Means put in nine points. Psalm Maduakor led the Gauchos with 14 points and six rebounds.