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BOYS’ BASKETBALL / BREA-OLINDA TOURNAMENT : Santa Ana Valley’s Rally Falls Short

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Santa Ana Valley fought back from a 13-point, fourth-quarter deficit only to fall short to Bellflower St. John Bosco, 61-54, in the title game of Brea-Olinda tournament Thursday night at Brea-Olinda High.

The Braves (11-1) won the championship for the second consecutive season, beating back Santa Ana Valley (13-2) behind the fourth-quarter play of Jelani Gardner.

Santa Ana Valley trailed, 51-38, when St. John Bosco sophomore forward Brian Johnson slammed in a rebound with 5 minutes 34 seconds left in the game. The Falcons rallied to close the gap to 57-54 with 43 seconds left on Olujimi Mann’s free throw.

St. John Bosco guard Kevin Christian, who transferred from Sunny Hills two years ago, scored on a layup with 33 seconds remaining and Rich Siemensma made two free throws with nine seconds left to ice the game.

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“We will never give up, that’s for sure,” Santa Ana Valley Coach Rich Prospero said. “But we were a little too late.”

After the Falcons had tied the score, 29-29, with 6:05 left in the third quarter, St. John Bosco went on a 14-3 run, forcing turnovers with its full-court press.

Gardner, the tournament’s most valuable player, had 14 points and four assists, but Johnson led Braves’ scoring with 16 points. Christian added 10 points for the Braves. Mann, a sophomore who was selected to the all-tournament team, led Valley with 17 points and Alex Fletcher added 15.

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In other tournament games:

La Mirada 77, Troy 54--Joey Gorini scored 21 points to lead La Mirada in the fifth-place game. Greg Abbott scored 17 points for Troy.

La Habra 58, Brea-Olinda 43--Senior Ken Cauley had a game-high 18 points, helping La Habra in a consolation game. Teammate Andrija Kristich added 11 points for the Highlanders. John Norum led Brea-Olinda with 11 points and Ryan Dieringer added nine, including three three-pointers.

Rancho Alamitos 81, Ontario Blakelock (Canada) 38--Randy Parrish had 20 points for Rancho Alamitos in a consolation game.


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