Foothill guard trio might be small, but they’ve led Knights to a 17-1 record

Foothill's basketball team improved to 17-1 with a 49-46 win over rival Anaheim Canyon.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

With a guard trio measuring 5 feet 8, 5-10 and 5-10, Santa Ana Foothill might be underestimated at first when you see them in warmups, but once the game starts, you begin to understand how the Knights have won 17 of 18 games this season.

“They’re just tough,” coach Yousof Etemadi said.

On Friday night, 5-8 senior guard Cruz Billings, the co-MVP of the Crestview League last season, made two free throws with 12.3 seconds left and finished with 12 points to lead a 49-46 win over neighborhood rival Anaheim Canyon at Canyon.

The Knights (17-1, 2-0) survived a final three-point attempt by Canyon (17-3, 0-1) just before the buzzer to pull out a win in a game that went back and forth and had eight lead changes in the second half.

“It was great effort,” Etemadi said.

Braedyn Bernhard, a 6-7 senior, provides the size and rebounding inside for Foothill. He had eight points and eight rebounds. Emerson Marks had 15 points and Tyler Howard added 11 points for Canyon.


Boys’ basketball

Sierra Canyon 81, Chicago (Ill.) Whitney Young 49: In Missouri, Amari Bailey scored 20 points and Ramel Lloyd added 14 points to lead the Trailblazers.

Mater Dei 73, Manchester (Conn.) East Catholic 58: Zack Davidson had 14 points and Kaden Minter 13 for the Monarchs on an East Coast road trip.

Santa Margarita 48, St. John Bosco 46: Ethan Rhee made the game-winning three-pointer for the Eagles in a Trinity League thriller. Rockwell Reynolds finished with 16 and made a three at the end of regulation.

Orange Lutheran 73, JSerra 67: In overtime, the Lancers prevailed in the Trinity League game. Aidan Fowler scored 25 points for JSerra.

Dominguez 60, Paramount 59: Franklyn Chambers finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds in the Dons’ overtime win. Marques Calcote had 24 points and eight assists for Paramount.

Saugus 91, Valencia 57: Davis White contributed 29 points and Nate Perez had 27 in a Foothill League game.

Sherman Oaks Notre Dame 90, Bishop Alemany 73: Dusty Stromer finished with 33 points in a Mission League win.

St. Francis 54, Chaminade 48: Buckley DeJardin led the Golden Knights with 15 points.

Harvard-Westlake 79, Loyola 49: Cameron Thrower had a big offensive performance with 20 points for the Wolverines.

St. Paul 52, Bishop Amat 44: Allen Moser had 18 points for St. Paul.

Heritage Christian 93, Whittier Christian 37: Barrington Hargress led Heritage with 25 points.

Damien 76, Chino Hills 57: Jimmy Oladukun finished with 23 points in a Baseline League win.

Etiwanda 67, Rancho Cucamonga 54: Curtis Williams scored 19 points and Kwinten Crenshaw had 18 for Etiwanda. Shadale Knight had 32 points for Rancho Cucamonga.

Simi Valley 58, Royal 42: Jack Benyshek had 18 points and Angel Navarro 17 points for Simi Valley.