This Friday and Saturday, Eisenhower High is hosting the Inland Empire Shootout, a two-day showcase event for mostly boys teams, but also one girls game.
The schedule: Friday, Jan. 4
Corona Santiago vs. Eisenhower (girls), 4 p.m.
Summit vs. Miller (boys), 5:30 p.m.
Riverside M.L. King vs. Eisenhower (boys), 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 5
Moreno Valley Canyon Springs vs. Cajon (boys), noon
Citrus Valley vs. Carter (boys), 1:30 p.m.
Miller vs. Rialto (boys), 3 p.m.
Long Beach St. Anthony vs. Chino HIlls (boys), 4:30 p.m.
Damien vs. Eisenhower (boys), 6 p.m.
Etiwanda vs. Riverside M.L. King (boys), 7:30 p.m.
I was at the Southern California Shootout at Azusa Pacific, with some very intriguing games involving county boys basketball teams.
First, I arrived for the end of the Chino Hills-Upland game, which went into overtime tied 50-50. Myles Pearson went 6-for-6 from the line in the final minute of overtime, snapping a 53-53 tie en route to a 59-53 Upland win.
Next, it was Bloomington Christian and coach Danny Fuller facing his former JV high school coach Mike LeDuc of Glendora. Bloomington Christian, from 5AA, represented itself well, but ultimately came up short, losing 57-46 to the 2A Tartans.
Then it was a wild-and-woolly game between Colony and Santa Maria Righetti. Colony’s offense was way off in the first half and the Titans trailed 33-22 at halftime. They picked it up in the second half, and got to within 69-66 in the final minute before Righetti held on for a 77-71 victory. So there were 55 points scored combined in the first half and 93 combined in the second half.
Next was the marquee game of the event, Etiwanda and Damien. Two years ago the same teams played in the same event at APU, and Etiwanda won it on a shot at the buzzer.
This time, Damien led for most of the first half and was ahead 25-23 at halftime. Etiwanda’s defense went from very good to stifling in the second half. Damien went more than six minutes from late in the second quarter to the third quarter without scoring a point and Etiwanda began the second half with a 14-0 run. The Eagles never really looked back (Damien never got closer than 9 points) and sophomore Jordan McLaughlin scored 15 of his 27 points in the second half of a 64-45 Etiwanda victory.