By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
Northview High School boys basketball coach Ron Rice shrugged trying to come up with a reasonable answer. Northview is one of the top teams in the area, but Damien is on another level entirely, which it proved again with a 59-39 victory over the Vikings in the quarterfinals of the 58th annual Covina Christmas tournament on Tuesday.
Damien (11-1) will take on Rowland, a 59-50 winner over California in the semifinals tonight at 7 p.m., at Covina High School. (To continue click thread)
Covina wins on buzzer-beater: The oldest boys basketball tournament west of the Mississippi River has had its share of great finishes, but none arguably were better than a 3-point buzzer-beater by Edgardo Campos that gave Covina a 55-52 win over South Hills in the 58th annual Covina Christmas Tournament on Tuesday night.
The 58th Annual Covina Christmas Tournament began Monday and we will update each morning throughout the tournament.
Tonight’s semifinal games
Rowland vs. Damien, 7 p.m.
Covina vs. J.W. North, 8:30 p.m.
Monday’s first-round results
California 64, Bosco Tech 37
Rowland 75, Azusa 49
Northview 76, Garey 54
Damien 59, Wilson 42
Bishop Amat 51, Los Altos 45
JW North 69, Charter Oak 49
South Hills 71, Jurupa Hills 49
Covina 66, Sierra Vista 52
Rowland 59, California 50
Damien 59, Northview 39
JW North 54, Bishop Amat 36
Covina 55, South Hills 52
A couple weeks ago, Damien beat Northview by 21 points in the championship of the Glendora/Rowland Holiday tournament, and the Vikings didn’t fare much better in the rematch on Tuesday, falling behind by 28 points after three quarters, and scoring just two field goals over the second and third quarters combined.
“It’s frustrating,” said Rice, whose Vikings are a respectable 11-3 overall. “But they’re mighty good.
“There is a big gap between them and us right now, it’s pretty obvious. I’d say there is a big gap between them and a lot of teams, they’re just so darn big and athletic for a team like us.”
Northview’s Treavon Francis led all scorers with a game-high 18 points, but he accounted for 13 of the Vikings’ 16 points in the first half.
Francis scored all six of the Vikings’ points in the second quarter, and the Spartans held the Vikings to just three points in the third before emptying the bench in the fourth.
The Vikings couldn’t get anyone going besides Francis. The Spartans smothered their shooters on the perimeter, and when they looked inside, Damien’s 6-foot-7 center Chris Reyes was there to deny anything in the paint.
“They defend well,” Rice said. “We didn’t have any answers outside or inside. It’s frustrating because you want to come out and compete.”
Northview tried packing the paint on Reyes early, but Jared Dizon came out and scored all 10 of his points in the first quarter, nailing two 3-pointers to help the Spartans build a 20-10 first-quarter lead.
When the Vikings extended their defense on the perimeter, Reyes buried them for eight of his team-high 16 points in the second quarter, and just like that, Damien led 37-16 at half.
“I thought both games we defended them well,” Spartans coach Matt Dunn said. “We made their player (Francis) shoot hard shots. He’s going to score, but we made him work.”
Jeremy Hemsley scored eight points and Jon Prater chipped in with seven points for the Spartans, who weren’t that sharp offensively, though few noticed besides Dunn.
“It wasn’t a great night offensively, but I thought we competed well,” Dunn said.
Rowland’s Saeed Montoya scored 15 points with nine rebounds, and Derrick Marr buried all three of his 3-point attempts to finish with 11 points to go with five rebounds in the Raiders’ nine-point win over California.
Joseph Dionisio added 14 points with three assists as the Raiders thwarted California’s second-half comeback.
The Condors, led by Matt Lambrecht’s 16 points and Andrew Garber’s 12, rallied from 12 points down in the second half to tie the score, 44-44 with 7:30 to go.
But Dionisio answered with a 3-pointer to go back up 47-44, and the Raiders never trailed again.
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