By John “Nuttin Honey” Honell
COVINA – Games between crosstown rivals Covina and Northview high schools are some of the most intense in the Valley.
With second place in the Valle Vista League and a high CIF-SS postseason seed on the line, the standing room-only crowd almost could feel the electricity in the air.
The Covina boys basketball team, which defeated Northview last Wednesday, outscored the Vikings 16-1 in a four-minute stretch of the fourth quarter to knock off the defending league champions 47-41 Monday night.
“This is the best feeling ever,” said Nino Harrell, who had a pair of 3-pointers in the run. “I’m a senior and we have never beaten Northview in their gym.
“We knew we would win this game because we have faith in each other.”
The Vikings (17-8, 6-3) started the quarter on an 8-0 run to take a 34-27 lead before the Colts (16-7, 6-2) went on their flurry.
“We got the lead, then got out of our offense a little,” Vikings coach Ron Rice said. “We took a couple of bad shots then gave Nino two open looks at the other end and he can shoot it.”
The Colts started their run at 5:28 of the fourth quarter when point guard Mike Peters made a pair of free throws.
Peters, who had been held without a basket in a loss to first-place Wilson last Friday, led the Colts with 17 points.
“After tonight, this is our city,” Peters said. “Our coaches told us to attack the basket and look for our 3-point shooters.
“I attacked the basket more tonight and got it to Nino.”
Harrell hit back-to-back 3-pointers, with the first one tying the score at 34-34 and the second giving the Colts the lead for good. Matt Hicks and Chris Sotelo scored in close and Edgardo Campos finished the run with a pair of free throws with 1:28 left in the game.
“What a great basketball game,” Colts coach Will Bissman said. “Our kids just started having confidence in the fourth quarter. We haven’t been hitting shots but it was all about confidence and the kids took the shots.”
The Colts took a quick 8-2 lead, but Matt Hicks picked up two quick fouls to let the Vikings take over the defensive boards.
“Matt’s the guy most people don’t see,” Bissman said. “The stats guys don’t notice him but he does all the little things for us. He’s our enforcer and he played very smart in the second half. He rebounded very well.”
The Vikings took their first lead, 16-15, on a short jumper by Jazz Pavia at 5:10 of the second quarter.
They extended the lead to 19-15 on a 3-pointer by Danny Johnson but Harrell hit a 3-pointer with less than a minute left to make the score 19-18 at the half.
“I’ve been in a slump lately,” Harrell said. “All I did over the weekend was shoot. Even when I went to bed, I pictured myself making baskets in the Northview game.”