Eagle Rock wins City Section Division II boys’ basketball championship
As the awards were being presented to his players for winning the City Section Division II boys’ basketball championship Thursday night with a 53-49 victory over South Gate at Narbonne, Eagle Rock coach Christian Dunbar was asked if it was his most satisfying title after winning two earlier in his career.
“It is,” he said.
The Eagles (24-5) overcame injuries that might have stopped others, such as losing their best player, guard Gavin Gonzales, to a torn ACL on Dec. 19. They have won 14 consecutive games.
“It’s not one individual. We play together as a team,’’ said senior Benicio Curiel, who scored 15 points and made four consecutive clutch free throws in the fourth quarter to prevent a South Gate comeback.
Free-throw shooting in the fourth quarter was the difference. South Gate made two of 10 and Eagle Rock was nine of 13.
Eagle Rock received strong performances from two improving sophomores. Santino Leone scored 11 points and Nick Yutan added nine points.
“They came up big,” Dunbar said of his sophomore contributors. “It was nice to see. They’ve improved so much over the course of the season.”
The Eagles also received contributions from a couple of football players, led by All-City linebacker Brooklyn Pasten.
“They brought that toughness to our basketball team,” Dunbar said.
South Gate, seeking its first City title, received 15 points from Jonathan Tedtautau.
Vaughn 69, Washington Prep 37: The No. 2-seeded Tigers (20-5) went on a 38-5 run after falling behind 32-31 with 4:01 left in the third quarter to win their second City Section championship, taking the Division III title at Narbonne.
Junior point guard Andrea Cervantes scored 22 points and led a trapping defense that produced 32 turnovers. Yamileth Ferreira made six threes and finished with 22 points. Freshman Hellen Cervantes added 10 points.
Juju Lucien scored 13 points for Washington Prep, the No. 1 seed.
Orange Lutheran 3, Littlerock 0: The Lancers received two goals from Jodi Pineda to win the Division 4 championship in the snow at Littlerock.
Quartz Hill 3, Los Alamitos 2: Quartz Hill won the Division 3 championship.
Orange Lutheran 12, Hamilton (Arizona) 5: Freshman Josiah Hartshorn had three RBIs and Derek Curiel contributed two doubles in a win in Arizona.
La Salle 2, St. Paul 1: Travis Ortega had the game-winning hit for La Salle.
Sierra Canyon 2, Thousand Oaks 1: Three pitchers combined on a four-hitter for 4-0 Sierra Canyon.
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