Edison came into Friday's Sunset League boys' basketball game at Huntington Beach reeling from a tough loss two nights earlier that had knocked the Chargers from second place in the league standings.
A 53-51 setback on its home floor to arch rival Fountain Valley on Wednesday had cost Edison that spot and a loss to Huntington would drop the defending league champions further down the league ladder. The Chargers, however, dug deep and climbed back to stay in second gear. At the same time, they knocked Huntington down a peg.
Edison retained a share of second place by pulling away down the stretch of the fourth quarter to record a 56-47 victory over Huntington. The win, coupled with Fountain Valley's 77-43 rout of Marina Friday, pulled the Chargers into a tie for second with the Barons at 5-3. The teams trail Los Alamitos (7-1), which suffered its first league loss Friday after being shocked, 59-57, by a Newport Harbor team that had just won its first league game on Wednesday.
The loss was the second of the week for Huntington, which fell Wednesday to Los Alamitos, and sent the Oilers to 4-4 in league.
Edison used an 8-0 run during a three-minute stretch late in the fourth quarter to turn a 40-39 deficit into an advantage it wouldn't relinquish. The Chargers (18-6) then hit nine of 10 foul shots over the final 32.6 seconds, seven by senior guard Corey Foster, to put the game away.
Huntington trailed, 25-23, at the half but took a 36-35 lead on senior guard Blake Skorich's three-point basket with four seconds left in the third quarter. It was the first lead for Huntington since it held a 6-4 advantage early in the first quarter. The Oilers (13-12) took their last lead of the game (40-39) on a free throw by junior forward Harley Ruder with just over four minutes left in the fourth quarter. Senior guard Dreon Barlett scored on a nice high-low play moments later to give Edison, which completed a league sweep of the Oilers, the lead for good.
"It was a great effort by out guys, especially coming off that tough loss a few days ago," Edison Coach Rich Boyce. "We talked about holding our composure at the end and we did. We played hard the whole way through and that effort was the key for us tonight."
The first quarter was all about Barlett, who went off in the game's first eight minutes and scored all 16 Edison points. He had a pair of great dunks and hit back-to-back three-point shots in the quarter to send the Chargers to a 16-8 lead at the end of the quarter.
"Dreon was red-hot," Boyce said. "He got us going and I thought we did a pretty good job for the most part of staying in control. He had a great game."
Barlett led all scorers with 31 points and hit six of seven free throws in the fourth quarter. Foster scored 18 points and was eight of 10 from the foul stripe in the fourth quarter.
Junior guard Andrew Tenbrink led Huntington with 16 points. Ruder had 11 points and senior guard Rory Aldana scored 10.
The Sunset League race enters its final week next week. On Tuesday, Edison plays at Marina and Huntington is home to Newport Harbor. Both games tip at 7 p.m.
In other Sunset League action Friday:
Fountain Valley 77, Marina 43
Junior forward Tanner Trounce connected on seven three-point shots and scored a game-high 28 points as the Barons (16-7, 5-3) completed a league sweep of the visiting Vikings (9-15, 1-7). Senior forward Nathan Moss scored 15 points and junior guard Josh Armstrong finished with 13 points.
JJ James scored 17 points to lead Marina.
On Tuesday, Fountain Valley plays at league-leading Los Alamitos and Marina entertains Edison. Both games start at 7 p.m. A win by Los Alamitos sews up the league title for the Griffins.
Other Friday scores:
Golden West League
Ocean View 85, Santa Ana 59
Brethren Christian 56, Sage Hill 42