Great crowd made for a memorable night of basketball

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Everyone knew that the Baseline League showdown between visiting Etiwanda and Rancho Cucamonga in boys basketball was going to be one for the ages. How can it not be with two teams both ranked in the top six in a very competitive division?

Rivals located about a Tiger Woods tee shot apart geographically. Each team led by a superstar player – that would be Jordan McLaughlin for Etiwanda and Victor Joseph for Rancho Cucamonga, both senior guards destined for great things in the future.

The game lived up to its billing with the Eagles prevailing 61-56.

A capacity crowd was there to see it, 3,00 or so. In fact, it was sold out 10 minutes before tip-off.

It was a great atmosphere! Both crowds were into the game, even before the tip off, cheering the players as they took the floor for warm-up. Spectators on both sides were standing much of the game, especially at crunch time down the stretch.

Music blared during timeouts, fans sang and danced. Everyone was well-behaved, cheering their team and not jeering the other.

The only thing slightly unsportsmanlike – the Rancho Cucamonga faithful chanting “You’re a Trai-tor” each time Etiwanda junior center Jordan Naughton  went to the free-throw line. He transferred FROM Rancho. But that’s not that bad!

School administrators were ready for the crowd, with plenty of security on hand . . . just in case. Crowd flow in and out of the building was organized. Lessons were definitely learned from the debacle that was the post-game melee in football when Rancho played another local rival, Los Osos.

So hats off to crowds from both schools, school administrators and everyone else involved in making it a memorable night.