Boys Basketball: The second-round demons that haunted Pasadena’s history is just that — history. Pasadena beats Keppel, earns trip to Honda Center; Pasadena Poly, Renaissance Academy, AGBU fall.

CLICK HERE FOR A PHOTO GALLERY OF FRIDAY’S KEPPEL-PASADENA SEMIFINAL PLAYOFF GAME SHOT BY STAR-NEWS ACE PHOTOGRAPHER KEITH BIRMINGHAM

Pasadena 63, Keppel 48 — Chris Bridges scored 17 points, Tyler Barber got off to a hot start in the third quarter to finish with 14 second-half points and Brandon Jolley had a solid first-half contribution scoring 15 points to lead Pasadena to next week’s Division 2A championship game against top-seed Eisenhower at the Honda Center.

La Verne Lutheran 60, Pasadena Poly 42 — The second-seeded Trojans hope to get their rematch next weekend with a championship game against Windward. The tournament’s top seed played visiting Calvary Chapel of Santa Ana on Friday. The Wildcats from L.A. defeated the Trojans in last year’s 5A title game, 72-62. Lutheran won the 5AA title in 2008. If the Trojans face the Wildcats, at least one opposing coach will be in their corner: Poly’s Brad Hall. “They’re good,” he said. “I don’t know if we had played a perfect game if that would have been good enough. There’s a reason they went overtime with (Pasadena). There’s a reason they beat Eisenhower. There’s a reason they beat all these teams. They’re really good.”

Sierra Canyon 64, Renaissance Academy 57: Michael Cohen had 19 of his 31 points in the first half and Daniel Cohen added 11 points to help the No. 4 Trailblazers (22-7) hold off a late Renaissance Academy rally, securing their first trip to a division final in the program’s five-year history. The Wildcats, who are still seeking their first title, fell behind by 12 points in the first quarter, before cutting the deficit to 55-52 on a 3-pointer by Gilles Tacita with 1:41 remaining. But Jesse Howell answered with a layup for Sierra Canyon and the Cohens combined to hit four free throws down the stretch to seal the victory and a matchup with No. 2 Besant Hill oj Ojai in the final.

Kilpatrick 60, AGBU 43 Hagop Bonikian and Allen Kazangian each scored 12 points, but it wasn’t enough as AGBU’s dream season came to a stop Friday night in the semifinals of the Division 6A playoffs. AGBU (17-5) made its first playoff appearance a memorable one. The International League champion became the third Armenian school ever to make the semifinals, following Mesrobian in 2003 and Pilibos in 2007. “It’s been an exciting run,” AGBU coach Vic Karapetian said. “We’re proud of the students. To do what we’ve done in a two-year span and this being our second year in sports is something we’re definitely proud of.” AGBU trailed only 38-24 at the half, but Kilpatrick’s (12-10) length and size proved to be the difference.

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  • Rob

    Polytechnic has three teams through to the CIF SS semi-finals? Boys soccer and basketbal and girls basketball, too? How did that tiny, nationally recognized, Ivy League feeder prep school become a sports power? Seriously, I’m not trying to be a smart as* here. I am actually really impressed. It’s not just the size of the school ‘cuz obviously other schools in the division are the same size it’s the insane academic expectation and push for excellence that makes the school’s sports acheivements impressive. Yes, I know they play in a small division but still….

  • Anonymous

    So we tried to move to a larger venue oh well. Suggestion Keppel fans, GET THERE EARLY, so that the only people in the gym are AZTEC fans. I gurantee you that if you arrive later you will not get in. Muir is a small gym.

  • Anonymous

    Pasadena is too athletic for keppel. The keppel big guys are too soft. The game will be over by half time. Pasadena by 20.

  • Basketball Junkie

    Miguel,

    I have to question your pick taking Sierra Canyon over Renaissance, however I hope you are right.Both teams recruit very well and I have seen Sierra Canyon play this year and they can fold under pressure.Renaissance also has beaten some good teams, but I hope your right on Sierra Canyon beating them, let’s hope Sierra doesn’t fold under pressure.

    AGBU well definitely get beat tonite, the only way they win is if Kilpatrick players get in trouble, and believe me they it is always a mystery who they are going to bring to the game.AGBU has had a good run and hopefully AGBU Canoga Park can learn how to build a program like Pasadean is doing.

  • Anonymous

    Rob,

    I too am equally impressed. It looks like Polytechnic has had great teams since the late 70′s. I was at Poly for a basketball tournament earlier this year and there must have been 10-12 CIF championship banners hanging in their boys gym. Additionally, there must have been 25-30 CIF team “Academic Excellence” awards along another wall.

  • burbanksports

    Who you got Miguel? Compton or Burbank?

  • Miguel Melendez

    I’m straight out of Compton, whatchu think?

  • DAWGER

    Any update on the PHS vs Keppel BB game????

  • viking fan

    PHS won!!!

  • MHS Fan

    Poly is a GREAT school, the facility is top notch and the kids are great.

    They have some huge endownments that allow them to scholarship some great athletes. I have several friends who received full scholarships so they went there, and who can blame them?

    This way they get some real stand out athletes with good coaching and facilities.

  • DAWWGER

    Thanks Viking Fan!

    Go VIKES!!!

    DAWWGER

  • Sevan Abcarian

    BBall junkie

    You making distinction between AGBU of Pasadena by victory park and AGBU in Canoga Park, right?

  • I’m just say’in

    At some point coach Cooke has to look in the mirror, he can’t win the big one. He has had what, 4 to 5 number one teams in the past and can’t win a championship? There must be a problem with the coaching style or technique.

  • Basketball Junkie Said

    I would totally agree with the above post about Renaissance always being a top seed in the division and falling at the end. Last night was a prime example, kids going for steals instead of playing discipline defense. On Offense there is absolutely no direction all one on one,never making the extra pass.If that program stressed Fundamentals they would have one two or three championships by now.I am not the only person that feel this, Prep editor before Miguel said the same thing the year they went to state.
    He may have talent but he sure doesn’t develope that talent and that program lacks alot of discipline, one thing he does well is recruit kids from all over the Valley, especially Pasadena. Maybe, that’s why Cooke doesn’t get any credit or write up more often.

  • Basketball Junkie

    To the above Post, I am talking about the Pasadena AGBU and Canoga Park AGBU.AGBU Canoga does not put any emphasis on sports and the kids are not committed, that’s why they have a hard time in league and playoffs. They do have good paretal support and do want to be good in basketball. They did go to CIF but were done first round.Lots of talent there but no coaching and dedication.

  • ludicrous

    Thanks to mr Class—less , coach Tucker ,Me and hundreds of others could not see the game.
    Selfish,weak,insecure and hypocritical is what you are Tucker , and whoever else was in on the decision to play in a cracker box and close so many good people out!
    were you really that scared whooooo , of the mighty MK to pull your HC power play?!…pfft ,What a joke!
    All I do now is hope Eisenhower pummels your baby ,complaining ,(every year you lose),hypocritical behind!

  • viking fan

    Ludicrous….really? Not getting to see the ‘Dogs upset you that much? Where do you think they should have played? The same result of being sold out would have happened no matter which gym got used, except PCC, which wasn’t an option.

    Dawwger…..no problem. I was a Bulldog before becoming a parent of a Viking. Looking forward to next weekend at the Honda Center.

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