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Pacifica Christian Orange County boys’ basketball rallies past Dana Hills into CIF semifinals

The site of Thursday night’s CIF Southern Section Division 4AA boys’ basketball quarterfinal playoff game between Pacifica Christian Orange County and Dana Hills moved from the Tritons’ gym.

Pacifica Christian athletic director Brandon Gonzalez said the gym roof was leaking after the recent rain storms. He said he called around to 14 different local high schools and colleges, and Calvary Chapel was the only one that was available to host the game.

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It was the Tritons’ defense that appeared leaky in the first half, but they solved that problem big-time.

Pacifica Christian held Dana Hills to six second-half points on its way to a 50-31 victory at Calvary Chapel.

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The No. 2-seeded Tritons (22-7) will host Lancaster Quartz Hill (16-11) in the semifinals on Saturday night. Quartz Hill outlasted Moorpark 58-56 in another quarterfinal game.

Pacifica Christian Orange County High's Houston Mallette goes up for a shot against Dana Hills' Grayson Holtby during a CIF Southern Section Division 4AA quarterfinal playoff game on Thursday.
Pacifica Christian Orange County High's Houston Mallette goes up for a shot against Dana Hills' Grayson Holtby during a CIF Southern Section Division 4AA quarterfinal playoff game on Thursday. (Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Sophomore point guard Houston Mallette had 13 points and eight rebounds for Pacifica Christian against Dana Hills (17-11), as the Tritons rallied from a 25-18 halftime deficit.

Senior forward Solomon Davis had 10 points and seven rebounds, while junior forward Judah Brown chipped in 10 points and five blocked shots.

Junior Josh Sims had nine points, including a steal at midcourt and layup in the first minute of the third quarter that got the Tritons going.

“You get hyped up, and energy carries all throughout the team,” Sims said. “When I’m hyped, it helps with the energy, and when my teammates are hyped we all play well … We play as a team and we win as a team.”

The Tritons would go on to outscore Dana Hills by 20-4 in the quarter.

“Dana Hills did a great job of keeping it in the half-court, slowing it down and mixing their [defenses] up,” Pacifica Christian coach Jeff Berokoff said. “We had to try to stimulate some pressure and some excitement, and that was a big start to the second half, as far as our pressure. We picked it up full court more, just trying to get the game going a little bit.”

The Dolphins had hit five of their first six three-pointers of the game, two each by Ben Carr and Grayson Holtby, to take a 19-9 lead early in the second quarter.

“That killed us,” Sims said. “Our weak spot at the moment was the corners. We weren’t getting there, and we started noticing it and started picking it up.

“We really shut them down, [for them to score] six points [in the second half] after their huge lead in the first half. That was a huge turnaround for us.”

Pacifica Christian Orange County High's Josh Sims grabs a loose ball from Dana Hills' Ben Carr during a CIF Southern Section Division 4AA quarterfinal playoff game on Thursday.
Pacifica Christian Orange County High's Josh Sims grabs a loose ball from Dana Hills' Ben Carr during a CIF Southern Section Division 4AA quarterfinal playoff game on Thursday. (Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Junior guard Timmy Bahadoor scored eight points for Pacifica Christian, all of them coming in the fourth quarter. He capped the scoring for the hosts with a deep three-pointer.

Pacifica Christian has advanced to the semifinals for the second time in three years as a varsity program. In the Tritons’ inaugural year of 2016-17, they made it to the Division 6 title game before losing to Riverside Carnegie.

Berokoff has his team as the No. 2 seed in the division, just like it was two years ago, but the Tritons hope for a different result this time around.

Berokoff said he knew very little about the Tritons’ semifinal opponent, Quartz Hill, the third-place qualifier from the Golden League.

“Both Moorpark and Quartz Hill are good, so I didn’t want to spend any of my energy on them,” he said. “Plus, with this hard turnaround of one day … all of the energy was toward Dana Hills. We’ll spend tonight and [Friday] morning to get a game plan together as fast as we can for Quartz Hill.”

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CIF Southern Section Division 4AA playoffs

Quarterfinal

Pacifica Christian Orange County 50, Dana Hills 31

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Dana Hills 16 – 9 – 4 – 2 — 31

Pacifica Christian 9 – 9 – 20 – 12 — 50

DH – Wiese 12, Holtby 9, Carr 6, Ettinger 4.

3-pt. goals – Holtby 3, Carr 2.

Fouled out – None.

Technicals – None.

PC – Mallette 13, Davis 10, Brown 10, Sims 9, Bahadoor 8.

3-pt. goals – Mallette 3, Bahadoor 2, Brown 1, Sims 1.

Fouled out – None.

Technicals – None.

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