When Century turned up the pressure, Los Amigos couldn’t hold up as the Centurions scored the game’s first seven points and took an 18-point halftime lead on the way to a 59-36 victory in the final of the Carl’s Jr. Holiday Classic Thursday at Century High.
Tight man-to-man defense by Century (13-2) wreaked havoc with the Lobo offense, forcing Los Amigos (4-7) to shoot 26% from the field in the first half. “We got another strong effort on defense tonight and we were patient on offense,” Century Coach Greg Coombs said.
Century shot 60% in the first half, taking a 32-14 lead before coasting to its first title in the tournament’s four-year history.
“We were intimidated early,” Los Amigos Coach Don Grable said. “They were stronger and quicker than we thought, and we weren’t aggressive in the first half . . . we just kind of watched the game.”
Ron Aristondo, playing only his fourth game after recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery, led Century with 14 points, making six of seven shots from the field.
But Aristondo was one of many stars for Century.
Tournament MVP Thomas Harmon finished with 12 points, but more importantly, he had four blocked shots, which helped frustrate Los Amigos center Jason Weiss, an all-tournament selection, into a one-for-10 shooting night.
The Lobos’ other top-scoring threat, all-tournament selection Chris Yu, was limited to eight points and only five shots.
Hector Negrete, who finished with 12 points and two three-pointers, Ike Harmon, who had nine points and eight rebounds, and Visal Yam, who had five assists, also contributed to the Centurions’ suffocating defense.
Century led 15-7 after one quarter, then opened the second with a 13-2 scoring run to take a 28-9 lead with three minutes remaining in the half. The Centurions put the game out of reach by scoring the first seven points of the second half to take a 39-14 lead only 1 minute 8 seconds into the third quarter.
Yam, Negrete, and Aristondo also earned all-tournament honors for Century.
In other tournament games:
Sonora 57, Santiago 34--Seven-foot junior center Craig Clark had 16 points, 15 rebounds, and eight blocked shots for Sonora (12-3) in the third-place game.
All-tournament selection Chad Fister added 13 points for the Raiders, who blew open a three-point game at halftime by outscoring Santiago, 29-9, in the second half.
Raymond Tecson scored 14 points for Santiago (5-7).
Trabuco Hills 64, Sunny Hills 56--All-tournament selection Ryan Karnoff scored 20 points and Nick Punto added 18 for Trabuco Hills (10-4) in the consolation final. Kevin Garand scored 17 points for Sunny Hills (5-8).
Brethren Christian 55, Garden Grove 47--Richard Mendoza scored 17 points and all-tournament selection Andy Brown had 13 points and nine rebounds for Brethren Christian (8-4) in the fifth-place game.
Costa Mesa 50, Buena Park 44--Center Lance Merrifield had 13 points and 11 rebounds for Costa Mesa (6-7) in a consolation game.
Calvary Chapel 74, Santa Ana 59--Jason Chedotti scored 19 points to lead the Eagles (6-8) in a consolation game.
Cypress 58, Villa Park 56--Derek Mitchell had 31 points and Chad Boberg added 22 for Cypress (7-6) in a consolation game. Chip Bernards had 21 points for Villa Park (2-9).