Frustration was visible on the faces of Chino Hills players and their coach, Steve Baik. Their chance to win a state Division I championship on Friday night appeared to vanish with 3:18 left in regulation when standout junior guard Lonzo Ball was called for his fifth foul in a loose-ball situation at Haas Pavilion.
He ran off the court disgusted. The Huskies ended up losing in double overtime, 79-71, to Danville San Ramon Valley.
"It's really frustrating," Baik said. "I'm disappointed we weren't allowed to play with the guys who deserved to be on the court. San Ramon Valley played a heck of a game."
Ball finished with 30 points and his brother, LiAngelo, scored 23 points before he fouled out in the second overtime.
Keith Smith, the nephew of L.A. Windward Coach Steve Smith, had 20 points for San Ramon Valley (27-6). Christian Fuca, whose father, Joey, was an athlete during his days at Crespi High, had 18 points, including four three-pointers.
"We made some critical mistakes in not guarding Fuca," Baik said.
Smith, in discussing the strategy for Lonzo Ball, said, "We tried to attack him every chance we got. He's a key component to everything they do, so the idea was to get him out of his comfort zone, be physical and tire him out. He's an unbelievable player. One of the best I've played against."
Damien wins Division III title
San Diego State-bound Jeremy Hemsley established a lasting memory for his senior season, delivering 20 points, 10 rebounds and six assists to help La Verne Damien defeat Moraga Campolindo, 70-57, in the Division III final.
"Losing was not an option," he said.
Damien (29-5) wore down Campolindo in the fourth quarter after holding a four-point lead after three quarters. Chris Hansen had 25 points and 14 rebounds for Campolindo (28-5).
"He's a special young man," Damien Coach Matt Dunn said of Hemsley, a 6-foot-4 point guard. "I don't know if anybody will coach a more talented, better player who was all in. He's all in for our team, for our school."
Micah Robinson made five three-pointers and finished with 17 points for Damien. Bryce Peters scored 12 points and Malik Fitts had nine points and 12 rebounds.
"The guys found me," Robinson said. "When I get a hot hand and am feeling it, they get it to me."
Campolindo Coach Matt Watson said of the Spartans, "That team is so long it's like a bunch of spiders coming at you from all angles."
Sierra Canyon is Division V champ
How dominant was 6-foot-8 sophomore Cody Riley of Chatsworth Sierra Canyon in the Division V championship game?
So dominant that he put himself in the record book with 22 rebounds, the most in state championship game history. He also had 18 points and three blocks as Sierra Canyon (26-4) cruised to an 80-55 victory over San Francisco University (28-8).
The outcome was never in doubt. Sierra Canyon scored the game's first 14 points. University trailed, 36-23, at halftime and never threatened the Trail Blazers, an Open Division team sent back to Division V after losing in the Southern Section quarterfinals.
The starting lineup of four sophomores and a junior is so good that Sierra Canyon figures to be one of the top teams in the country next season, especially after 6-8 Ira Lee returns from a shoulder injury to join Riley and form one of the most imposing duos around.
Sophomore Remy Martin turned in a big performance with 19 points. Terrance McBride and Devearl Ramsey each scored 13.
As for Riley's performance, Coach Ty Nichols said, "He's a kid who deserves to have his name in the record book. Our goal for him all year long was to average double-double. To get 22 rebounds in any high school game is phenomenal."