By Fred J. Robledo
Baldwin Park school district officials cancelled school the rest of the week because of windy conditions that caused power outages for several of its schools. The cancellation forced the second annual Baldwin Park/Sierra Vista High School boys basketball tournament to scramble to find alternate locations for its quarterfinal games on Thursday and the remainder of the tournament.
Glendora, playing without last year’s leading scorer Nick Colletta because of back spasms, hosted Walnut in Thursday’s quarterfinal and nearly blew a 13-point fourth-quarter lead before holding off the Mustangs, 50-45. Kyle Gordon scored 20 of his game-high 26 points in the first half for the Tartans. His five 3-pointers made a big difference with Colletta unable to go. (To continue click thread).
Baldwin Park/Sierra Vista Tournament
Friday’s games at Covina High School
L.A. Garfield vs. South Hills, 3:15 p.m.
Rowland vs. Santa Margarita, 6 p.m.
Glendora vs.Garfield-South Hills winner, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday at Covina High, 8:30 p.m.
“It’s what I do,” Gordon said. “I’m a 3-point shooter. Coach counts on me to knock them down, that’s my job. Every time I get a shot I have to think it’s going in.”
The Tartans (3-0) advance to tonight’s semifinals at Covina High School against either L.A. Garfield or South Hills, whose quarterfinal was postponed until 3:15 p.m., today at Covina, with the winner playing Glendora at 7:30 p.m.
In the other semifinal, Rowland, a 53-52 winner over Troy behind Chris Arzadon’s 14 points and 10 rebounds, will take on power Santa Margarita at 6 p.m.
The semifinal winners will play for the title on Saturday night at Covina at 8:30 p.m.
Walnut’s defense came alive in the fourth quarter, going on a 10-0 run to cut the Tartans’ lead to 46-44 with 3:38 left, but couldn’t draw even or take the lead.
The Tartans won despite not scoring a field goal in the fourth quarter, limited to just five points — all free throws. The Mustangs had a chance to tie the score, but missed two game-tying three-point attempts in the final 10 seconds to fall to 2-1.
The Mustangs received a game-high 20 points from Brandon Croom.
“We pride ourselves on our defense, that’s our reputation,” Walnut coach Josh Cameron said. “We did a heck of a job defending them tonight. Of course they didn’t have Colletta, but they still have a really good team and I’m proud of our guys. A couple free throws here, couple missed lay-ups there and it could have been a different result.”
Gordon gave the Tartans a 26-19 first-half lead with a 3-pointer from the corner, and drained his fifth 3-pointer just before the half to put the Tartans up 45-33 at the break.
“We got off to a pretty good start but we let them back in the game by making too many turnovers,” Gordon said. “But thankfully they missed a couple shots and a win is a win.”
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