By John Honell, Correspondent
RANCHO CUCAMONGA – Winning was only secondary in the “MLK I Have a Dream Classic” at Los Osos High School Monday as teams celebrated Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. The Foothill-Citrus Officials Association handled all nine games of the Classic and donated their checks to the Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research. After a close first quarter, Bishop Amat gradually pulled away from Charter Oak for a 65-52 win in a Monday morning game. (To continue reading click thread)
“It’s fun to play when the pressure’s off,” Lancers coach Brandon Ertle said. “I’m sure the kids like it better than practice. They can go out there and play a little bit and we can work on some things so it’s good.”
The Lancers took an 18-15 lead at the end of the first quarter as lightning-quick point guard Dion Hudson got his teammates involved and five different players scored.
The Chargers stayed close by hitting 3 of 5 shots from beyond the 3-point arc.
“We’re a perimeter team,” Chargers coach Ray Walker said. “But they played good defense and we didn’t hit the shots that were open.”
The Lancers took the lead for good when Tyler Hill sank a jumper at the 3-minute mark of the first quarter. The Lancers closed within one when Anthony Franco made a 3-pointer, but Daniel Rodriguez put back an offensive rebound just before the buzzer.
“We knew we were going to have a tough one today,” Walker said. “It wasn’t the start time (9:30). We played at 9 a.m. the day after Christmas
in San Diego, so the kids didn’t mind so much. (Amat) just played better than us.”
Hudson took control in the second half by scoring 19 of his game high 21-points in the second and third quarters.
“It’s good to be playing on this holiday,” Hudson said. “I don’t like the early game but I tried to get my teammates involved in the first half by passing the ball around. They went to man defense in the second half and it was a little easier to score.”
Kenny Saldana led the Chargers with 15 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. Evan Barr, 13, and Josiah Thropay, 10, also were in double figures for the Chargers.
The Lancers’ biggest lead came early in the fourth quarter after a Hudson steal and layup to make the score 54-32. The Chargers then made a 16-2 run to close the gap at the 2:24 mark but never got closer.
“I thought we were intent,” Ertle said. “We got out of here with nobody getting injured. We’ve got a tough league to compete in and we have a big game Wednesday.”
San Dimas defeat Ontario
San Dimas, led by K.J. Byrd’s 16 points, defeated Ontario 68-59 in an 8 a.m. game that wasn’t as close as the score indicated.
The Saints played without Chris Barbato, who had two technical fouls in a game Friday against Northview.
Saints coach Bruce Robbins also sat out because of an incident at the end of that same game.
They will return against Covina on Wednesday.