Dave Kleckner, in his 24th season of coaching basketball at Etiwanda, requires two primary commitments from his players. They have to play defense and they have to be unselfish. This year’s team is 13-2 and making Kleckner proud.
“I’m enjoying it,” he said. “They’re fun to be around.”
Etiwanda lost to Sierra Canyon 57-53 in the semifinals of the Classic at Damien. Kleckner would like a rematch even though he said, “You have to be near perfect” to beat the Trailblazers. “I hope we get a chance to play them again because that would mean we’re in the Open Division.”
Etiwanda tuned up for the start of Baseline League with a 75-43 victory over Birmingham on Saturday at the Take Flight Challenge at Redondo. It was a clinic-like performance on defense for the Eagles. They outscored Birmingham 17-2 in second quarter and led by as many as 38 points. Jaylen Clark scored 23 points for the Eagles.
Birmingham already getting schooled by Etiwanda. pic.twitter.com/0RHsW186Fh— eric sondheimer (@latsondheimer) January 5, 2020
Kleckner’s teams have never played a second of zone defense. “I know only one thing,” he said. Yes, man to man defense.
St. Anthony (18-1) pulled off the biggest upset of the night, rallying for a 58-57 overtime victory over Harvard-Westlake (15-2). St. Anthony fell behind 9-0 and was down 29-17 at halftime. Lorenzo Marsh, who finished with 21 points, made a three with less than two seconds left in regulation to tie the game and won it with another three late in overtime.
OT. Harvard-Westlake 55, St. Anthony 53 https://t.co/WQhCoLmMWk— eric sondheimer (@latsondheimer) January 5, 2020
Mason Hooks had 18 points for Harvard-Westlake, which made repeated turnovers against St. Anthony’s full-court press.
Loyola begins Mission League play this week with momentum after a 61-55 win over Leuzinger. Colby Brooks scored 27 points and made four consecutive free throws in the final 15 seconds.
Colby Brooks three-point play for Loyola. 55-51 Loyola leads. pic.twitter.com/2YLrB5aTMh— eric sondheimer (@latsondheimer) January 4, 2020
“He’s improved a ton,” coach Jamal Adams said of the 6-foot-6 senior who only turned 17 in October. “He’s about as good an athlete as I’ve coached.”
Ramel Lloyd scored 31 points but Taft fell to Colony 58-48. Dylan Boswell and Denim Dawson led the Titans with 20 points apiece.
Sierra Canyon dropped its second game of the season in losing to Minnesota’s Minnehaha 78-58 at Target Center. BJ Boston scored 27 points for the Trailblazers.
Rancho Christian reinforced its position as the new No. 1 team in Southern California with an 82-69 win over Santa Clarita Christian. Evan Mobley led the way with 22 points.
Oak Park defeated La Canada 65-59. Clark Slajchert scored 29 points.
Renaissance defeated El Camino Real 79-44. That’s eight straight wins for Renaissance.
Rodney Bradley scored 13 points in View Park’s 61-52 win over University. David Cheatom had 16 points for University.
Kyle MacLean scored 26 points to lead Westlake past Dos Pueblos 88-33.
Corona Centennial defeated Lynwood 96-50. Aaron McBride scored 21 points.
St. John Bosco defeated Bishop O’Dowd 67-66 in overtime. Wynton Brown scored 19 points and Lamaj Lewis 16.
Santa Ana Mater Dei was beaten by DeMatha 71-60. Devin Askew scored 13 points and Harrison Hornery and Wilhelm Breidenbach 12 each.
Fairfax defeated Shadow Mountain 82-58.
Valencia tuned up for a Tuesday Foothill League opener against Saugus by defeating Highland 89-48. Jake Hlywiak finished with 27 points, including seven threes.
Malik Thomas scored 35 points in Damien’s 67-51 win over St. Joseph’s in Northern California.
Rolling Hills Prep defeated Gahr 66-53. Benny Gealer had 20 points and Troy Murphy Jr. 18.
St. Francis received 17 points and 12 rebounds from Andre Henry in a 73-55 win over Grant.
King-Drew knocked off St. Bernard 61-56. Devin Hogan and Kalib LaCount each scored 14 points.
Mayfair defeated Long Beach Poly 78-73 in overtime.
Chaminade defeated Twentynine Palms 89-49. Colin Weems scored 20 points.
Oxnard improved to 18-1 with a 57-45 win over Crescenta Valley. Stacy Johnson contributed 20 points.
Windward defeated Hillcrest 59-45. Dylan Andrews had 21 points and Jaren Harris 19.
Heritage Christian held on for a 65-61 win over Bishop Montgomery. Skyy Clark had 25 points.
Riverside Poly defeated King 64-47. DJ Davis had 19 points.