Survive and advance: Damien’s Chris Reyes hit a shot at the buzzer to avoid a mammoth upset in the first round of the Division 3A playoffs. The fourth-seed Spartans squeaked out a 58-56 overtime victory over Agoura.
Bonita wins ..
By Fred J. Robledo
Calling three timeouts in the first five minutes was Temple City High School boys basketball coach Rich Hollinger’s best way of trying to slow high powered Bonita in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 3A playoffs on Wednesday. All that did, however, was prolong the inevitable as Bonita’s inside tandem of Garrett Pendleton and Garett Horine set the pace running the floor and dominating the paint in an 81-38 first-round victory for the fifth-seed Bearcats (25-3), who will have a home game in the second round on Friday against 12th seed San Marcos. (To continue, click thread).
CIF-SS Boys Basketball Playoff results
Wednesday’s first round
Chino Hills 71, Leuzinger 62
Cajon 64, Diamond Bar 37
Capistrano Valley 59, West Covina 35
Walnut 57, Tesoro 51
Rowland 64, Ontario 57
Eastside 72, Glendora 65, OT
Foothill 79, Baldwin Park 37
Ayala 67, Don Lugo 60
Nogales 59, Arroyo 45
La Verne Lutheran 66, Claremont 48
Calabasas at Diamond Ranch
Bonita 81, Temple City 38
Damien 58, Agoura 56, OT
St. Francis 62, Sierra Vista 55
Northview 77, Northwood 76 2 OT
South El Monte at Atascadero
Bishop Amat 59, San Luis Obispo 47
Servite 69, San Dimas 53
Tahquitz 48, Mountain View 42
Whittier Christian 57, Workman 41
La Puente 49, Rubidoux 39
Wilson 63, Desert Hot Springs 57
Ontario Christian 67, Ganesha 50
Covina 73, Morro Bay 60
Below: Hey look, Bonita’s Greg Eckler has a new look. The locks are gone
“Those guys (Pendleton and Horine) were very active and put themselves in a good spot to catch and finish or gets boards and putbacks,” Bonita coach Greg Eckler said. “That’s the key for them when teams try to key on our guards James (Northup) and J.B. (Jordan Butler).
“Just put yourself in a position to be effective and our guards will find you, they’re very unselfish in that way.”
Northup led all scores with 18 points, but Pendleton set the tone with 12 of his 14 points in the first quarter with Horine going to work in the second half, scoring 14 of his 16 points.
Bonita ended the first-quarter with a 17-2 run to go up 23-6 and led 43-15 at half.
“Every day coach says keep sprinting the lanes,” Pendleton said. “Tonight it worked out, it seemed like all my points were off transition or putbacks. It was probably one of my best games of the year.”
Temple City received a team-high 14 points from Jordan Hill and Caleb Halverson knocked in three 3-pointers to finish with nine points.
But the Rams were outmanned in every position as officials used a running clock in the fourth quarter to speed things up.
“We had a long season and I was hoping we would play a little better,” said Hollinger. “We played a lot of young kids and you hope they gain experience from a game like this, but obviously they have a long way to go.”
Asked what impressed him most about Bonita, Hollinger said it was tough to tell.
“We beat ourselves so much,” Hollinger said. “How many times did we just throw the ball to them? It wasn’t like they had to steal it.
“But we know they’re a good team. They play well, have a lot of shooters, have big guys that contribute. Heck, I would love to coach them.”
With Damien also winning on Wednesday, the possibility of the neighboring Spartans and Bearcats meeting in the quarterfinals remains a possibility.
But both have to get past what should be much tougher second-round games on Friday, which made having an easy first-round win on Tuesday so satisfying for Eckler.
“Winning a playoff game is big,” Eckler said. “We want to win more than just one, but I was thinking about that today, just winning in the playoffs is a good feeling.”
Pendleton knows they probably won’t have another game like this the rest of the way.
“It is nice to come out and dominate,” Pendleton said. “But it was just the opening round. We had a good seed and did our part. We know every game is going to be a fight from here on out.”