Young Bulldogs fall in second round, 55-49
Above: Pasadena’s Steven Adams goes up against two Arroyo Valley defenders. (Correspondent photo by Larry Goren)
By Scott Galetti, Staff Writer
PASADENA – Perhaps it was peer pressure.
Or maybe it was the pressure of defending a championship with mostly new players.
Whatever the factor, Pasadena High School’s boys basketball team didn’t seem the same.
With USC basketball coach Tim Floyd observing from the stands, the Bulldogs committed numerous turnovers, were forced into hurried shots and missed some easy ones.
The result was a 55-49 loss to Arroyo Valley of San Bernardino Tuesday night in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division II-AA playoffs.
“We lost to a good team,” Pasadena coach Tim Tucker said.
Joseph Richard and James Sanders each scored 13 points to lead Arroyo Valley (19-9), and Jermaine Anderson had 12.
The Eagles avenged a 64-57 loss to the Bulldogs on Nov. 30.
“We beat them the last two times, and the third time’s a charm and they got us the way that we’ve gotten other people,” Tucker said. “I’m not going to sit here and put my head down to a team that’s senior-oriented versus a young team.
“They came out and everything went right for them, and everything went wrong for us.”
They did it by holding Pasadena’s leading scoring, Keion Bell, to 12 points.
“We did a great job on Bell,” Arroyo Valley coach Scott Smith said. “The first time we played them, Bell scored 25 and created a lot of opportunities for the other kids through penetration.
“That was our main focus, to slow him down and make him earn all of his shots.”
Darius Johnson, Tyron Crockom and Joseph Henson each scored eight points for Pasadena.
The Bulldogs (22-6) didn’t help their cause at the free-throw line, hitting just 7-of-18.
Arroyo Valley hit 11-of-17.
“We turned the ball over too many times and we were 7-for-18 from the free-throw line. You can’t win a playoff game like that,” Tucker said.
After Anderson’s jumper gave Arroyo Valley a 44-37 lead with seven minutes to play, Pasadena mounted a comeback.
Marcus Harvey’s outside jumper cut the Eagles’ lead to 48-47 with 1:58 to go in the fourth quarter.
But Sanders drove the lane for a layup and hit the ensuing free throw to give Arroyo Valley a four-point lead.
Crockom hit a pair of foul shots following a technical foul on Arroyo Valley to cut the Eagles lead to 52-49, but Bell’s ensuing 3-point attempt rattled out.
“I told coach (Tim) Tucker that this was a great high school basketball game because we had to earn this victory,” Smith said.
Both teams showed early jitters by committing turnovers.
Arroyo Valley’s Byron Moses scored the first points of the game when he hit a 3-pointer with 5:54 to play in the first quarter.
After Bell’s two-handed slam gave the Bulldogs a 6-5 lead, Arroyo Valley scored 11 unanswered points to grab a 16-6 lead after one quarter.
“We played great defense in the first 14, 15 minutes,” Smith said. “And when you play great defense, you wear a team out.”