Chino Hills' singular focus to end the basketball season with a state championship is one win away from fruition.
The Huskies, ranked No. 1 in the nation, improved to 34-0 on Saturday night before a standing-room-only crowd of 4,556 at The Pyramid in Long Beach by putting on an unusual display of defensive excellence en route to an 84-62 victory over Torrance Bishop Montgomery in the Open Division Southern California Regional final.
Known more for tying the state record for most games scoring 100 or more points (18), Chino Hills showed it can put together a smothering defensive performance, too.
After opening an 11-point halftime lead, Chino Hills went on a 14-0 run to start the third quarter, and the rout was on.
By the fourth quarter, it was show time. Lonzo Ball scored on a dunk off a lob. Freshman Onyeka Okongwu had a dunk, too.
LiAngelo Ball finished with 27 points. Lonzo Ball had 13 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. LaMelo Ball had 17 points, making four of five shots from three-point range. Okongwu had 15 points and six rebounds. And Eli Scott added 10 points and 10 rebounds.
"They were more physical," Bishop Montgomery Coach Doug Mitchell said. "I just thought we were tentative and overwhelmed by the moment. The thing people miss about them is they're a phonomenal rebounding team."
Sophomore David Singleton scored 33 points for Bishop Montgomery (28-3), which suffered two of its three losses this season to the Huskies.
"We've been playing better defense since the playoffs started," Coach Steve Baik said. "We've really targeted the defense. Game after game, we've been getting better and better and tonight was a great defensive effort."
Chino Hills will face Concord De La Salle in next Saturday's 8 p.m. championship game at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento.
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