Reserve guards Brendan Hickman and Jon Beuerlein provided just the spark that Sunny Hills High School's ailing offense needed Wednesday afternoon in the opening game of the Freeway League Jamboree at Cypress College.
Hickman led all scorers with 14 points, and Beuerlein made a three-point shot in the fourth quarter that proved to be the turning point in the Lancers' 52-44 win over Sonora. The victory improved Sunny Hills' record to 11-1; Sonora fell to 5-7.
The jamboree showcased the league's six teams, and heavily favored Sunny Hills set the tone for a day of mediocre basketball as the Lancers went through the motions through most of the game.
Sunny Hills, ranked second in the Southern Section's 3-A division, opened a nine-point lead in the first quarter with Hickman scoring 10 of his 14 points, but then the Lancers appeared to lose interest.
The Lancers' top player, Brian McCloskey, struggled most of the game and failed to score a point until only nine seconds remained. None of the Lancers' starters played particularly well.
"The players want to win this league so badly, they played tight," said Steve White, Sunny Hills coach. "I hate Monday games and afternoon games. It was nice to get the win, but it wasn't pretty. The bench saved us."
Sonora had been shooting only 38% from the field in 11 nonleague games, but the Raiders managed to tie the score, 34-34, behind the hot-shooting of guard Grayle Humphrey. Humphrey made four straight three-point shots in the second and third quarters to keep the Raiders close.
But Sonora made only one field goal in the last quarter and turned the ball over at two critical points in the last two minutes.
"I thought our defense caused them some difficulties," said Paul Bottiaux, Sonora coach, "but we missed a couple of shots and turned the ball over at the end, and it cost us the game."
Troy 55, Fullerton 47--Defending champion Fullerton (6-6) made only 18 of 46 shots and lost its league opener for the second straight year. Alan Lewis, Fullerton's 6-foot 8-inch center, was in foul trouble most of the game but still led the Indians with 13 points and 5 rebounds. Troy (9-4) was paced by Jeff Holland (13 points), Tim Morris (11) and Scott Bailey (11).
Buena Park 59, La Habra 57--The Coyotes (8-3) made 10 of 11 free throws in the last quarter to hold off La Habra's upset bid. Guard Danny Ko made two free throws with 44 seconds remaining and then teammate Mel Javellanos added two more with 11 seconds left to seal the victory. David Stevens and Eddie Perez scored 18 points each for La Habra (5-6).