Wildcats win another laugher

PASADENA — With his team up by 45 points midway through the third period of its CIF Southern Section Division 6 quarterfinal game against Arshag Dickranian on Tuesday, Renaissance Academy basketball Coach Sid Cooke called a timeout.

Despite being ahead comfortably, Cooke didn't like what he saw after the two teams exchanged a number of baskets during a two-minute stretch. The coach wanted his squad to keep its focus.

"I just wanted our kids to keep playing hard," Cooke said. "Some of them are freshman. Just play hard, just stay with the fundamentals. We got away from passing the ball, moving. Just stay focused and run the stuff we run."

Focused or not, the Wildcats were still plenty dominant, as Renaissance defeated Arshag handily, 89-43, at the Pasadena Boys & Girls' Club to move on to the semifinals on Friday against Joshua Springs or L.A. Adventist.

"We're sharing the ball," Cooke said. "Our ball movement and chemistry is pretty good, so we build on that. We had a lot of bad passing. We're going to work on that the next couple of days."

The top-seeded Wildcats (22-6) have been rolling through the Division 6 playoffs. In the three contests to date, the team has scored an average of more than 97 points a game, and has allowed just 33 points a game on defense.

"It's never over until it's over," Cooke said of what he tells his team. "We have to build on the fundamentals."

The game against the Lion was a mismatch from the start. Arshag dressed only seven players, while Renaissance had 11 players score. The Wildcats boasted a lead of 28-9 after the first quarter and 54-15 at halftime. Renaissance went up by as much as 83-29 before cruising to the 89-43 victory.

"The game plan was just to execute our plays, push the ball." said Wildcat senior Vince DeGuzman, who led his team with 25 points. "Our major thing we emphasize on is defense."

Yendra Magloire added 12 points for Renaissance, while teammate Jessy Cantinol pulled down nine rebounds.

Jack Karapetyan scored 26 points and added 11 rebounds for ninth-seeded Arshag.

"Every practice is hard," De Guzman said. "We play each other a lot, we scrimmage with each other a lot. We push each other to get better. We try to get ready for the better teams further along in the playoffs."

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