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Edison too much for Oilers

Edison guard Nate Matthews is double-teamed by Huntington Beach's Sean Strom (1) and Fletcher Wilson in a Sunset League basketball game on Friday.

Edison guard Nate Matthews is double-teamed by Huntington Beach’s Sean Strom (1) and Fletcher Wilson in a Sunset League basketball game on Friday.

(Christine Cotter / )

Since dropping its Sunset League boys’ basketball opener a week ago, the Edison Chargers have been on a roll.

Edison has won two-straight since a 61-51 defeat Jan. 8 at Los Alamitos, and gained its second comfortable victory in the process by handling visiting Huntington Beach Friday, 86-55. The Chargers never trailed, opened up a double-digit lead late in the first quarter, began to pull away in the second quarter, and then put the game out of reach by dominating the start of the second half.

The win pushed Edison, ranked No. 2 in CIF Southern Section Division 2AA, to 2-1 in league and 15-4 overall.

The Chargers previously cruised to an 80-45 win Wednesday at Marina Wednesday.

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Huntington has lost consecutive games since defeating Marina 59-55 in a league opener Jan. 8. The Oilers, who lost a 53-40 home game Wednesday to Newport Harbor, dipped to 1-2 in league and 8-11 overall.

The Oilers fell behind early and could get no closer than within six points of the Chargers the final 20:45 of the game.

They trailed, 30-24, with 4:45 left in the first half.

“During a timeout I told the kids that we had to play better defense,” Edison Coach Rich Boyce said. “We had to play better defense without fouling, and we did that. Once we did, I thought we played really well the rest of the way.”

Following that timeout, Edison began to gain distance from the Oilers. A layup by junior guard Randall Walker and follow shot by senior center Tommy Barlow took the Edison lead back to 10 points. Senior guard Jake Barton provided a big spark for the Chargers coming in off the bench. He scored on a layup off a long pass from junior guard Nate Matthews, then came up with a steal near the Huntington key and drove the floor to score on another lay-in, and the Charger lead had grown to 38-26.

The Chargers came up with a steal on Huntington’s inbounds pass and scored on a jumper by sophomore guard David Atencio. With just under two minutes left in the half, they took their largest lead (43-28) on a free throw by Matthews. The free throw was set up by a nice save along the baseline under the Huntington basket by Hayden Silva. The junior guard went high to retrieve a loose ball before going out of bounds and fed Matthews who was fouled as he headed up court.

Edison took a 47-33 lead into the half.

“Edison came out and set the tone right away,” Huntington Coach Billy Thompson said. “I thought we battled well and when we went into the locker room, I told our guys that there were two or three mental adjustments we needed to make and if we did that, we would be right back in this game. We trailed by 14 but if we made those adjustments, it could be a ballgame.”

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The Oilers didn’t adjust and instead, the Edison lead ballooned. The Chargers, who shared the ball and had their transition game going in high-gear leading to easy baskets throughout, scored the first 17 points of the second half. They took complete control by forging a 64-33 lead.

The scoring spree featured six lay-up baskets, three by Walker including one on a reverse score.

“They out-rebounded us, we turned the ball over too much, and we didn’t protect the paint,” Thompson said. “They had 24 points in the paint in the third quarter.”

Edison outscored Huntington, 25-7, in the third quarter. The Oilers didn’t score in the quarter until senior guard Josh Benitez drove for a lay-in at the 4:14 mark.

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“Those are dream starts and they don’t happen very often,” Boyce said of his team’s 17-0 run that opened the second half. “Huntington’s very good and they had some shot go in-and-out, but we had our transition game going. We passed very well and really shared the ball.”

Matthews took game scoring honors with 26 points, getting 11 in the opening quarter and 12 more in the third quarter. Walker finished with 19 points, Barlow 10, Barton eight, and Atencio, who had several nice assists on the night, scored seven points.

Benitez led Huntington with 14 points.

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Friday Scoreboard

Boys’ Basketball

Sunset League

Edison 86, Huntington Beach 55

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Fountain Valley 54, Marina 50

Golden West League

Ocean View 67, Orange 27

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Saturday’s Schedule

Girls’ Basketball (6 p.m.)

St. Margaret’s at Brethren Christian (at Liberty Christian School)

Boys’ Basketball

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Fountain Valley vs. Cathedral (TBA, at Palm Springs High)

Ocean View vs. Twentynine Palms (TBA, at Palm Springs High)

Marina at Palm Springs (8 p.m.)

St. Margaret’s vs. Brethren Christian (7:30 p.m., at Liberty Christian School)

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Monday’s Schedule

Boys’ Basketball (5 p.m.)

Edison vs. Elsinore (at Corona del Mar High)

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Girls’ Basketball (7 p.m.)

Sunset League

Fountain Valley at Edison

Huntington Beach at Los Alamitos

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Newport Harbor at Marina

Thursday’s Schedule

Girls’ Basketball (6 p.m.)

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Sage Hill vs. Brethren Christian (at Ocean View High)

Boys’ Basketball (8 p.m.)

Sage Hill vs. Brethren Christian (at Ocean View High)

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Friday, Jan. 22 Schedule

Girls’ Basketball (5:30 p.m.)

Ocean View at Santa Ana

Boys’ Basketball (7 p.m.)

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Edison at Fountain Valley

Los Alamitos at Huntington Beach

Marina at Newport Harbor

Ocean View at Santa Ana

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