Fountain Valley High boys’ basketball outlasts rival Edison to open CIF playoffs

Fountain Valley's E.J. Bryson scrambles for a loose ball against Edison's Jackie Kwok on Wednesday.
Fountain Valley’s E.J. Bryson scrambles for a loose ball against Edison’s Jackie Kwok during a first-round CIF Southern Section Division 2AA playoff game on Wednesday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Fountain Valley High School boys’ basketball coach D’Cean Bryant celebrated his 44th birthday on Wednesday.

The fourth-year coach got to spend his special day with his family, but also the Barons community.

Three birthday cakes were on the scorer’s table after Fountain Valley hosted rival Edison in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division 2AA playoffs.

The only thing sweeter than the cakes was victory, especially when it was so hard-earned.

Fountain Valley pulled away for a 60-52 victory to move on. The Barons play at Compton in the second round on Friday night.

Senior guard Jeremiah Davis led Fountain Valley with 23 points and nine rebounds on Wednesday, and he did most of his damage from the free-throw line.

Davis made just three field goals but converted 17 of 18 free throws.

The co-captain made all 12 of his free throws in the fourth quarter for the Barons, helping them put the game away.

“We knew it was going to be a scrappy game from the beginning,” Davis said. “It was a rivalry game, so I guess our intensity was high. We just kept our head in the game and kept going.”

Fountain Valley's Roddie Anderson and Edison's Bradley Luna battle for a ball during Wednesday night's game.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Fountain Valley’s other co-captain, senior guard Preston Amarillo, added 15 points and seven rebounds. Junior point guard Roddie Anderson had 11 points, seven rebounds and four steals.

Amarillo was aggressive early, with three baskets in the first quarter as the Wave League champion Barons (13-2) surged to a 10-2 lead.

“I’m a pass-first guy and I don’t really look to score, but if my team needs me to get a bucket, I’ve got to get a bucket,” Amarillo said.

“I’ve got to do what’s best for my team. That happened to be attacking in the first quarter because we were kind of playing sloppy, so I just had to get it done.”

Edison didn’t go away, and by halftime had a 25-24 lead. Senior forward Connor Collins had a game-high 24 points for the Chargers (9-9), who earned an at-large berth into the playoffs after finishing third in the Surf League.

Senior point guard Jackie Kwok added 10 points for Edison, with senior guards Luke Serven and Bradley Luna scoring eight and six points, respectively.

Fountain Valley last trailed on Collins’ third-quarter layup that gave Edison a 35-34 lead. But the Barons scored seven straight points on a run that stretched into the fourth quarter, taking a lead that they would keep the rest of the game.

Fountain Valley's D'Cean Bryant, who celebrated his birthday Wednesday, gives instructions to his team.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

“They’re a very good team, well-coached and super-athletic, and we battled them right down to the wire,” Edison coach Rice Boyce said. “We had opportunities … but when it came time to a make a play we weren’t able to.”

Davis’ free throws made sure the visitors couldn’t mount a comeback. They also helped ensure a happier birthday for his coach.

“Everything’s in the details,” Bryant said. “Here’s the thing, you know they’re going to try to take you away, take Roddie away, take Preston away. So what else can you do to affect the game?

“It’s not about necessarily scoring every point … [but] we got him the ball going downhill more and he made the right decisions all night long.”


CIF Southern Section Division 2AA playoffs

First round

Fountain Valley 60, Edison 52


Edison 13 – 12 – 10 – 17 — 52

FV 15 – 9 – 15 – 21 — 60

E – Collins 24, Kwok 10, Serven 8, Luna 6, Delaney 2, Evans 2, .

3-pt. goals – Collins 4, Kwok 1, Serven 1.

Fouled out – Serven, Hugues.

Technicals – None.

FV – Davis 23, Amarillo 15, Anderson 11, Morris 6, Casarez 5.

3-pt. goals – None.

Fouled out – None.

Technicals – None.


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