Two powerful Inland Empire basketball teams, Corona Centennial and Chino Hills, engaged in a memorable Southern California Regional Division I final on Saturday night that took overtime to decide.
"It was an amazing atmosphere," Deontae North of Centennial said after scoring 27 points in helping Centennial defeat Chino Hills, 80-73, and earn a trip Friday night to the state final at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento against Danville Monte Vista.
Lonzo Ball of Chino Hills made a three-pointer with 32 seconds left in regulation to tie the score 64-64. KC Cyprian barely missed giving Chino Hills the victory when his baseline shot at the buzzer went in and out.
In overtime, North scored seven points, giving Centennial (29-3) its second overtime win of the week. Centennial defeated Los Angeles Loyola in the semifinals on Tuesday.
Sedrick Barefield supported North with 21 points. Chris Famous had a key basket in overtime.
Ball finished with 17 points for Chino Hills (29-5).
"Two years ago, these juniors went 7-19 as freshmen," Centennial Coach Josh Giles said. "We were getting beat up. To come back this quick and have an opportunity to play for a state title speaks to their work ethic."
The "big three" for Bellflower St. John Bosco (22-11) were at their best in leading the Braves past Compton, 72-55. Connecticut-bound Daniel Hamilton had 22 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Tyler Dorsey, an Arizona commit, had 20 points. Sophomore Vance Jackson contributed 18 points.
"That's the best I've seen them play," Compton Coach Tony Thomas said. "They were very relaxed. They were having fun."
Isaiah Bailey had 20 points and Iziahiah Sweeney added 17 points for Compton. St. John Bosco will face Folsom in Saturday's 4 p.m. state final in Sacramento.
Michael Oguine scored 18 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter, including a 25-foot bank shot as time expired to lift undefeated West Hills Chaminade to a 53-52 victory over Santa Margarita.
Stephen Thompson Jr. had 26 points, including four three-pointers, for Torrance Bishop Montgomery, which advanced to the Division IV state final with a 66-56 victory over Montebello Cantwell Sacred Heart.
Justin Bibbins added 17 points and six assists for the second-seeded Knights (27-6), consolation finalists in the Southern Section Open Division playoffs.
Marquise Mosley made a three-pointer from the top of the key with five seconds left to lift La Cañada Renaissance Academy to a 58-55 victory over Los Angeles View Park Prep. Renaissance will face Alameda St. Joseph Notre Dame in Friday's final.
KJ Okmanas led the top-seeded Wildcats (24-7) with 16 points, Mosley had 14 points and Marty Gaizauskas had 14 points and 14 rebounds and passed from the post to Mosley for the game-winning shot.
Chance Comanche had 14 points and 15 rebounds and Darryl McMillon and Luis Medearis each added 11 for the third-seeded Knights (24-6).