Compton scored 16 unanswered fourth-quarter points to break open a close game and defeat Brea Olinda, 77-54, in the Southern Section II-AA boys’ basketball semifinals Friday at Dominguez High.
With the victory, Compton Coach Rod Palmer will be taking his squad to UC Irvine for the championship contest Thursday night against Santa Margarita.
Brea Olinda, behind most of the night, tied the score, 36-36, on a three-point shot by Chris McMillian midway in the third quarter. Compton bounced back with baskets by Tito Maddox and David Hamilton for a four-point advantage.
A foul and technical by Hamilton put Moore on the free-throw line but he connected on one of four tries and threw away a pass in what could have been at least a six-point scoring opportunity for the Wildcats who had hit 11 of 14 free throws up to that point.
A steal by Moore and basket by Kyle Dood reduced the Compton lead to 40-39.
A three-point shot by Maddox (20 points) helped Compton finish the third quarter with a 7-2 run and a 47-41 lead.
Compton slowly built up a 57-47 lead in the fourth quarter before going on a 16-0 run to put the game out of reach.
“Their athleticism got the better of us,” said Brea Olinda Coach Gene Lloyd, who for the second straight season took his Wildcats to the semifinals.
Compton has three starters heading to major colleges with 6-foot-9 center Hamilton going to Auburn, 6-8 forward Milton Riley accepting an invitation to Washington State and Deandre Moore (25 points) going to Vanderbilt.
Brea Olinda (24-5) started out cold, connecting on two of 11 from the field in the first quarter. By hitting seven of eight free throws, the Wildcats did stay in the game, trailing 18-11.
The Wildcats were able to cut the lead to three twice in the second quarter before Compton (26-5) took a 34-26 lead at the break.
Brea Olinda found its shooting touch to open the second half with McMillian hitting a three-pointer and Reid Carlson (19 points) and Rasuli Webster scoring baskets to reduce the Compton lead to one. Maddox’ basket for Compton followed by McMillian’s three-pointer knotted the game at 36.