Boys Hoops: Covina/Nogales tournaments

Since the coach was kind enough to send the updates, I’m more than happy to post it.

55th Annual Covina Christmas Tournament
Monday’s championship semifinals
Fremont 60, Bishop Amat 18
Chino Hills 63, Bonita 43

Tuesday’s championship
Fremont vs. Chino Hils, 8:30 p.m.
3rd place game
Bishop Amat vs. Bonita, 7 p.m.

Nogales Tournament
Monday’s championship semifinals

Corona Centennial 57, Damien 41
Rancho Verde 54, Nogales 37

Tuesday’s championship
Corona Centennial vs. Rancho Verde, 8 p.m.
3rd place game
Nogales vs. Damien, 6:30 p.m.

For Covina tournament semifinals story, click thread

There was still a second left in the first half, but Bonita High School boys basketball coach Greg Eckler was so frustrated he walked off before the whistle sounded.
The second half didn’t go much better for Bonita, whose undefeated season ended with a 63-43 loss to Chino Hills in the semifinals of the 55th annual Covina High School Christmas tournament.
After starting 13-0, the Bearcats dropped their first game against a Huskies team they beat 48-35 earlier in the season.
On Monday, however, the Huskies came out strong from the start, leading 39-21 at half, then pulling away in the third quarter behind guard Derek Brown, who finished with a game-high 22 points.
Brown nailed three 3-point baskets in the first half and helped build a 55-33 third-quarter lead by hitting seven straight foul shots, then watching teammate Ahmed Salem close out the quarter with six straight points.
After holding Chino Hills to just 35 points in their first meeting, Eckler was particularly disappointed with their effort on the defensive end, especially in the paint where the Huskies did most of their damage.
“I thought they outhustled us for 32 minutes, that’s the bottom line,” Eckler said. “It didn’t matter what we did, when you get outhustled you’re not going to win.”
Brown was the difference-maker, hitting off-balance shots and getting to the foul line on penetration.
“He gets into the cracks and does a good job of getting fouled and drawing contact,” Eckler said. “He was great tonight.”
CJ Miller led the Bearcats with 12 points and Nolan Abernathy and Cody Bennett added 10 points apiece, but all three had trouble getting off shots against the Huskies’ pressure defense.
Abernathy’s jumper cut the Huskies’ lead to 39-26 early in the third quarter, but the Huskies answered back with eight-straight points to go up 47-26.
In fact, everytime the Bearcats made a push, the Huskies had an answer.
“I was really unhappy with how much scoring they did inside,” Eckler said. “They did hit some shots today, but when you give up layups, those are pretty easy to make.”
After winning the West Covina tournament, Bishop Amat looked almost helpless in the other semifinal, losing to Fremont, 60-18.
Fremont’s Kelvin Smith had seven 3-pointers and 25 points in the first half. Smith finished with a game-high 27 points as Fremont won without DePaul-bound forward Kelvin Smith.
It was just Bishop Amat’s (11-2) second loss, but a tough one to swallow after not scoring a field goal in the second half.
Abel Rodriguez led the Lancers with 5 points as they only scored 3-points in the second half, all on free throws.
Chino Hills (10-4) will play Fremont (11-3) in the championship game tonight at 8:30 p.m., leaving Bonita (13-1) to face Bishop Amat in the third-place game at 7 p.m.
After simmering down, Eckler reflected on the Bearcats’ surprising start.
“It’s been a fantastic run, it’s been unexpected,” Eckler said. “The whole thing we base it on is one game at a time and playing hard, and we didn’t do that tonight.
“Coming into the gym if you would have told me we were going to give this effort, I would of told you we didn’t need to come.”
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