State tournament drama at Damien, but not elsewhere in La Verne

At one end of La Verne the Damien basketball team’s first-round game of the CIF State tournament was overflowing with drama. At the other end of the city, it was the opposite for the La Verne Lutheran boys as they began their run at a third state title in four years.

After a 40-foot bank shot sent the game into overtime (click ‘Continue reading’ below for the video), Damien bounced back when sophomore Jeremy Hemsley’s 3-pointer at the buzzer of the extra period (video above) to lifted the seventh-seeded Spartans to a 74-72 win over Tulare Mission Oak.

La Verne Lutheran, conversely, surged to a 40-point lead by the end of the third quarter in its Division IV first-round 85-42 win over 13th-seeded Tollhouse Sierra.

Skyler Williams and Joseph Rushing’ combined for 52 points for the fourth-seeded Trojans, who are under new leadership this season. New coach Brandon Lee: “We’re still going to (CIF-SS) championship games and we’re still going to the state tournament.”

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