Boys Hoops Quarterfinals: Damien fends off Bonita, wins 52-44 in front of overflow crowd; La Verne Lutheran advances to meet Price; Bishop Amat, Northview and Walnut all lost

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
Meeting for the first time in playoff history and in front of an overflow crowd bursting with energy, fourth seed and host Damien held off fifth-seeded Bonita, 52-44, in the CIF-Southern Section Division 3A boys basketball quarterfinals Tuesday to advance to the semifinals for the third straight year. (To continue click thread)

Northview rough up: Gabe York scored 22 points and James Douglas had 19, and Orange Lutheran overwhelmed the host Vikings en route to a 78-57 victory in a Division 4AA quarterfinal.

Lutheran advances to meet Price: Fourth-seeded La Verne Lutheran High School had to come from behind to knock off No. 5 seed Corona del Mar, 53-49, in a CIF-Southern Section Division 3AA quarterfinal game at Chaffey College on Tuesday night.

Amat, Walnut season’s over: Bishop Amat High School’s boys basketball team saw its run end one win shy of reaching the semifinals for the second consecutive season, after a bad second half did in the Lancers in a 85-59 loss at Alemany in the CIF-Southern Section Division 4A quarterfinals Tuesday night.

CIF-SS Boys Basketball playoffs
Tonight’s quarterfinals, 7 p.m.

Division 1A
Aliso Niguel 73, Walnut 64
Division 3AA
La Verne Lutheran 53, Corona del Mar 49
Division 3A
Damien 52, Bonita 44
Division 4A
Alemany 85, Bishop Amat 59
Orange Lutheran 78, Northview 57

And that’s exactly what the Spartans’ role players did. J.J. Pavia scored seven of his team- high 10 points in the second half to go with seven rebounds, and guards Clayton White and Gian Demano chipped in with nine points apiece – and they weren’t settling for jump shots, they were attacking the paint at every opportunity.

The Spartans (26-3) will be on the road in the semifinals against top seed Harvard-Westlake, which beat Cerritos 73-58 on Tuesday, while the Bearcats finish 26-4.

“We have a lot of good players,” Damien coach Matt Dunn said. “We have a lot of guys that live in the gym, and when you live in the gym, you have an opportunity to improve, and we’ve tried really hard to improve the last three years.”

Bonita received a game-high 15 points from guard Jordan Butler and 11 from James Northup, but trailed 26-21 at halftime and 38-31 entering the fourth quarter, when it made its final push. Bonita scored the first five points of the fourth and trailed 40-38 with 4:30 left after Garrett Pendleton’s inside basket, but the key play came with Damien clinging to a 46-44 lead with time winding down: White missed a floater, but Reyes was there to tip it in, giving the Spartans a 48-44 lead with 55 seconds left.

Bonita didn’t score a field goal the rest of the way, missed the front end of a one-and-one, and Kevin Mansour stole the ball from Northup with 25 seconds left and scored for a 50-44 lead to seal the victory.

Reyes finished with only six points, but he was a monster defensively, finishing with eight blocks and challenging everything at the rim.

“(Reyes) can change the game a lot of ways,” Dunn said. “He did a good job of just playing and not getting frustrated just because he was struggling offensively.”

For Reyes, he was more than happy to watch others enjoy the spotlight.

“If we’re going to win a championship, this is how it has to be,” Reyes said. “If teams want to take me out and make it tough, we showed tonight we got a lot of guys that can beat you.”

Bonita and Damien had met eight times since the 2004-05 season and won four each before meeting for the first time in the postseason.

“It’s really special to play in this kind of environment; this is why you coach,” Dunn said. “It’s disappointing we had to do this in the quarterfinals, because I think Bonita is a really, really good team.

“But at the same time, I’m glad it’s over with and we can move on.”

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  • unavailable for comment

    No roster, no stats, and unavailable for comment.

  • give it up already

    enough, the school was closed yesterday, so of course he could not make a comment.
    The guy is a very good coach and teacher, and it looks his methods work pretty well.
    Stats will be up on max preps when the season is over, just like years past.

  • ??

    Ever heard of a phone

  • wise guy

    of course but who is supposed to call who? Might be a little different for the coach to call up the reporter with his spin? Oh forgot that happens all the time…

  • Aaron

    Fred got the roster like last week.

  • DHigh

    I know Damien will play a great game tonight! Lets show Bonita how it is done!! Go Sparta!!

  • OBTW

    Oh By The Way; regardless of who wins tonight’s huge match up, and even before the opening tip off, how ’bout props to both teams on great seasons. But also, and this is the important part, what a great example of the quality of basketball programs in this area. When you add in LaVerne Lutheran, yikes! Three great teams in a single town with under 40,000 population. Basketball in the SGV has now approached the bar set by area baseball teams, which include Bonita, Charter Oak, South Hills, Northview and Glendora. May the best team win and may it not be decided by a mistake but either way, where high school sports is concerned, the place to be is the SGV.

  • bball coming

    Let’s just this crud over so we can get to baseball.

  • over

    Kings of LaVerne, Damien! Bonita was good, but Damien better. What do you say bcat fans?

  • lv

    you say congrats to Damien win it all brother.,,,

  • Aaron

    Great season Bearcats, congratulations Spartans.

  • it’s time to…..

    …….the season is over, it is now safe to post stats and rosters on max preps just like years past. Once again, the method worked well.

  • D High

    Wow terrific hard fought game by both Bonita and Damien!! The game of the year. Congrats to both teams. I don’t understand how folks can call our students in the pit rude when Bonita students are flipping off our stands filled with DHS parents after we beat Bonita. What sore losers, very rude and disrespectful. Where were your teachers to stop you guys from embarrassing your school?

    Congrats to both teams!

    Good luck in Semi’s Damien!!

  • Concerned NV Parent

    WOW! Our boys played their hearst out against Orange Lutheran. Great team with relly good players. Hopefully they go all the way so we can say we lost to the best. Our kids and coaches are a class act. To bad the principle at NV isn’t. Don’t know what it was about but for some reason he yelled at some teacher in front of everyone, including his students and then stormed off like a little kid. Very embarassing and unprofessional. Way to set an example for your students, “big guy”. Good luck next year boys. My boys will be gone next year, but I will try and see a game from time to time. Thanks guys.

  • Regents Fan

    Bonita Athletic Director…
    You didn’t do the right thing at the begining of the season by denying St Lucy’s Volleyball the use of the Damien gym for the State Semi Finals for your selfish reasons.
    Karma is a Bitch.. Isn’t it.
    Regents Fan

  • bohi bb

    It was very hard to watch Bonita’s point guard play so bad tonight. You cant be a ball hog at this point in the season. I think he is a better player than what he showed tonight.

  • nhs fan

    how does a team like orange lutheran end up in the same division as a team like northview? doesn’t make any sense at all

  • Lut Fan

    said: congrats to the Lutheran boys for a hard fourth victory against a very good and well coached CDM come and see us play against Price @Chaffey college at 7,for basketball fans you will see 7 D1 commit players on the same floor not only that the two best bigs in the state Polee 6-9 from Price and Grant Jerrett 6-9 from Lutheran, this is high basketball at its highest level! go Trojans!

  • Rob

    It’s Pelle not Polee, Dwayne is already at St. Johns where Norvel is going next year.

  • Confused?

    The big question is how did Orange Lutheran lose 6 games this year?

  • area code

    tough physical game, great plan by Dunn, containing Northrup, he had few open looks, gotta give it up to Horine for his work on Reyes, but in the end Damien was too deep for BHS, good luck going forward, they earned it.

  • Bulldog1


    What happened in basketball last night and Soccer today, your on a roll! Man, youre just the kiss of death. kh, the Grim Reaper of Bonita.

    You were asking about our basketball team? what about your basketball team, can they beat the bearcats too. didnt see you guys last year in the finales. Karma sucks Huh, kh?

    Well, it appears that losing is contagious at your place. I see that Choking isnt limited to Bearcat football.

    I still dont know why you came looking for West Covina when I stated that we would finish ahead of Diamond Bar, maybe you thought I should have included Runner up High?

    kh, Ill bet all the Bonita teams, parents and coaches just want you to shut the hell up! You are running out of sports to win a ring in this year, they should just change your name from Bearcats to Runner up or Chokers, actually, Chokers has a nice ring to it. I wonder what kind of mascot that would be?

    I cant wait till March 14th, you should be 0 and 3 in league by the time we put the smack down to you. Johnson will be head hunting after that late hit your boy put on him! I cant believe with all that talent, you Runner ups/Chokers are blank on CIF championships this year. I cant believe Fred thinks you have a good baseball team! What possible reason could he possibly have knowing Choker Highs history in CIF?

    kh, its time for you to kneel down and kiss the ring my friend, and give us the homage that is due us, weve had a fantastic year and I gotta say, you have been right there to watch the whole thing.

    Bulldog fever.

  • bullshit


    west covina sucks lets leave it at that!

  • not sure

    bohibb- over dribbling, no passing and poor decisions plauge #4 all season it just shows up in crunch time and critical games like this. Too bad as between the poor play and double team of #5, this would seem to have made for the difference.