A year ago, Damien couldn't get closer than 33 points in losing Chino Hills in a home game. On Wednesday night in a road game, the Spartans proved how much they had grown as a team and individuals, routing the Huskies, 94-78. The win comes days after beating another power, Etiwanda.
Let's just say that Jeremy Hemsley is teaching lessons to everyone. The senior bound for San Diego State contributed 33 points. He took advantage of lots of open opportunities driving to the basket. Malik Fitts had 23 points and Bryce Peters 21. Micha Robinson added four threes.
Damien (16-2, 3-0 in the Baseline League) came out with a great game plan. The Spartans dared anyone to shoot for Chino Hills other than the Ball brothers, Lonzo and LiAngelo. It resulted in a 10-point halftime lead. By the time the Ball brothers tried to get untracked in the second half, Damien had too many weapons and showed no fear when the pressure started to increase.
Lonzo Ball finished with 34 points. LiAngelo Ball had 27.
Chino Hills (12-4, 2-1) could be facing additional losses off the court in the coming days. The administration is scheduled to have a conference call with the Southern Section regarding an eligibility issue. If the player is declared ineligible, the Huskies could be forfeiting some games. Coach Steve Baik said he couldn't comment on the matter.
By beating Etiwanda and Chino Hills, Damien has put itself in position to be an Open Division playoff participant. And with a player the caliber of Hemsley, the Spartans will do just fine.
"He's a special young man," Coach Matt Dunn said. "As a coach, you're so blessed when your best player is your hardest worker and best teammate."