Edison boys’ basketball outlasts Fountain Valley to claim share of Surf League title
Three fouls in the first quarter.
It was not exactly the way that Edison senior forward Tucker Tripp wanted to start his last regular-season high school basketball game.
The Chargers’ best defensive player had a tough assignment Thursday night in a Surf League finale at Fountain Valley, against Barons senior standout JJ Gray.
“We knew coming in that containing JJ would be the key to victory,” Tripp said. “I pride myself on my defense, and I think of myself as one of the best defensive players in the league. I was a little bit bummed out when I had those first three fouls.”
Junior forward Jaxon Gorden came in and did a nice job defensively off the bench, before Tripp came back in for an impact performance in the second half.
Edison made plays down the stretch, holding off Fountain Valley 51-49 to clinch a share of the Surf League title. The Chargers share the title with Los Alamitos, which beat Marina 77-75 in overtime in another finale Thursday.
It’s the sixth league title in seven seasons for Edison (19-9, 5-1 in league), coach Rich Boyce said, and the 22nd straight time the Chargers have advanced to the CIF playoffs.
Edison hosts Villa Park in the first round of the Division 2AA playoffs on Wednesday night, while Fountain Valley plays at Simi Valley.
Fountain Valley (18-10, 2-4), which finished third in the four-team league, never led but constantly battled back behind Gray, who had a game-high 19 points.
“They made a nice run,” Boyce said. “Obviously, they would, because they’re very talented and well-coached, but we responded every single time. That was the key. When adversity hit, we responded like we have all season.”
Sophomore guard Jayden Oei led Edison off the bench with 13 points, including four three-pointers. Senior guard Dylan Hugues scored 11.
“[Oei] has stepped up all season long making big shots, especially in big games,” Tripp said. “That’s just a testament to why he’s on the team. He’s the only sophomore we’ve got on the varsity roster, and he just steps up time and time again, hitting big threes.”
Edison led 48-41 after Hugues hit a free throw with 2:46 remaining in the game. But the host Barons used a corner three-pointer by Colin Risse, then a three-point play from Fernando Garcia, to pull within a point with 1:07 left.
Edison’s Garin Takushi, then Fountain Valley’s Garcia, each hit a pair of free throws to push the score to 50-49, Edison with 20 seconds left.
After Oei split a pair of free throws, the Barons had a chance to tie or take the lead. But they couldn’t get a shot off. Edison double-teamed Gray with Tripp and Edison junior center Dane Johnson, and Gray’s pass was deflected by Johnson in the closing seconds.
“We knew that pick-and-rolls was their bread and butter, and Dane’s showing on those screens every single time, making it hard for J.J.,” Tripp said. “That was definitely big for us. That’s how they hurt us the first time, so Dane stepped up huge for us.”
Fountain Valley got eight points, eight rebounds and four steals from Garcia.
Barons Coach Roger Holmes praised his team’s efforts.
“We haven’t lost a game all year by more than 10 points,” Holmes said. “We’ve been in every game and we keep battling. I’ve been really happy with how the season has gone.”
Edison 51, Fountain Valley 49
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Edison 13 – 15 – 13 – 10 — 51
FV 9 – 16 – 11 – 13 — 49
E — Oei 13, Hugues 11, Johnson 10, Takushi 9, Tripp 3, Terrigno 3, Tu 2.
3-pt. goals — Oei 4, Hugues 1, Takushi 1, Tripp 1, Terrigno 1.
Fouled out — None.
Technicals — None.
FV — Gray 19, Garcia 8, Huynh 6, Payne 6, De Santiago 5, Risse 3, Rodriguez 2.
3-pt. goals — Gray 3, Huynh 2, De Santiago 1, Risse 1.
Fouled out — None.
Technicals — None.
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