Kennedy High School nearly blew a 14-point fourth-quarter lead, but held on for a 72-64 victory over La Quinta, Monday night in La Palma.
The Fighting Irish (11-7, 7-1) remained atop the Garden Grove League standings but had to regroup in the final two minutes after La Quinta (11-7, 4-4) moved to within two points.
Kennedy appeared to be in control entering the final quarter with a 61-47 lead, but La Quinta opened the quarter with 10 unanswered points. The Aztecs had an opportunity to tie the score later in the quarter, but forward Scott Campbell missed a free throw.
"We do things the hard way sometimes," said John Mayberry, Kennedy coach. "I kept telling the players that if Campbell got hot, it was going to be a close game, and he did."
Campbell struggled through most of three quarters, but when the junior hit a three-point shot with a couple of minutes left in the third period, it signaled the start of something big.
Campbell scored 13 straight points, but he also tired down the stretch as Kennedy's superior bench strength ultimately made the difference.
Campbell led all scorers with 22 points, and brothers Michael (14 points) and Maurice Keith (12) combined for 26 points for Kennedy.
La Quinta was playing without Arri Buford, who quit the team last week and transferred to Rancho Alamitos, where he is ineligible to compete.
In other Garden Grove League games:
Los Amigos 52, Pacifica 50--Carlos Palomino made the game-winning basket with 33 seconds left and finished with a game-high 20 points for Los Amigos (6-9, 5-3). Teammate Irving Booth added 12 points. Guard Greg White led host Pacifica (6-10, 3-5) with 13 points.
Bolsa Grande 61, Garden Grove 50--Joe Small scored 14 points for host Bolsa Grande (13-5, 6-2), which had a 30-point third-quarter lead. Isidro Maldonado led Garden Grove (4-11, 4-4) with 18 points.
Rancho Alamitos 76, Santiago 52--Center David Green led host Rancho Alamitos (5-10, 4-4) with 16 points. Peter Nguyen led Santiago (1-14, 0-8) with 13 points.
In the Freeway League:
Sonora 60, Troy 57--Sonora forward Matt Recktenwald broke a 57-57 tie with a shot at the buzzer, and hit a free throw with no time remaining for the Raiders (7-11, 2-5). Scott St. Clair led Sonora with 17 points, Recktenwald scored 16 and Geoff Crow added 16 points.
Fullerton 69, La Habra 55--Fullerton's Greg Wilbur hit six three-point shots in the first half to give the Indians (11-7, 5-2) a 37-25 halftime lead. Wilbur led all scorers with 27 points. David Stevens and Eddie Perez each scored 14 points for La Habra (5-12, 0-7).
Sunny Hills 97, Buena Park 64--Brian McCloskey scored 20 points for Sunny Hills (16-2, 6-1) and teammates David Chisum and Chris Drakos each scored 18 points. Gary Hunter of Buena Park led all scorers with 28.
In Garden Grove Leauge girls' basketball:
La Quinta 91, Kennedy 38--Donna Gondringer scored 33 points and 13 rebounds to lead visiting La Quinta (15-3, 8-0). Kennedy (6-8, 5-3) was led by Lara Cummins with 11 points.
Bolsa Grande 45, Garden Grove 25--Chris Milia scored 17 points to lead Bolsa Grande (8-8, 4-4).
Santiago 43, Rancho Alamitos 24--Senior center Carolyn Burns scored 16 points and had 23 rebounds to lead Santiago (11-4, 6-2).
Los Amigos 41, Pacifica 32--Forward Amy Pearson scored 10 points and had 11 rebounds for visiting Los Amigos (4-10, 4-4). Pacifica is 0-8 in league.