By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
COVINA HANGS ON: After scoring just one field goal in the second quarter and clinging to a one-point halftime lead, Covina High School boys basketball coach Will Bissman spoke with his point guard and floor leader Mike Peters and told him to go to work.
That’s exactly what Peters did, scoring eight of his game-high 19 points in the third to lead Covina to a 63-58 victory over visiting Pioneer in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 3A playoffs on Wednesday.
Peters scored the Colts’ first four points in the third quarter, then set up Matt Hicks for an easy bucket, then found Nino Harrell open for a corner 3-pointer to go up 41-32 midway through the third to extend the lead. (To continue click thread)
WEDNESDAY’S BOYS BASKETBALL PLAYOFF RESULTS
Damien 57, El Dorado 37
Beverly Hills 61, Arroyo 38
Esperanza 73, South Hills 47
Bonita 80, Cerritos 28
Agoura 67, Diamond Ranch 66
Torrance 67, Rosemead 48
Los Altos 63, Gabrielino 61
Charter Oak 60, Temescal Canyon 51
Azusa 62, Tahquitz 60
Bishop Amat 50, Santa Paula 36
Wilson 84, Rubidoux 55
South Pasadena 59, San Dimas 37
Santa Margarita 65, La Puente 35
Estancia 44, Gladstone 43 (OT)
Northview 85, Yucca Valley 71
St. Francis 66, Mountain View 33
Workman 75, Bosco Tech 38
La Verne Lutheran 72, Marshall 29
LUTHERAN UPDATE …
La Verne Lutheran’s University of Arizona bound forward Grant Jerrett scored a game-high 25 points to go with eight rebounds and three blocks to lead the second-seed Trojans to a 72-29 first round win over Marshall
The Trojans’ Cameron Osorno added 17 points, eight rebounds and five assists and McKay Anderson had 10 points and 11 rebounds.
The news wasn’t all good for the Trojans. Junior Eric Cooper Jr., left the game with a dislocated finger after scoring nine points with four assists and seven rebounds. Cooper will be re-evaluated for the next round.
FRIDAY’S BASKETBALL PLAYOFF LINEUP
Diamond Bar at Glendale, 7 p.m.
Burbank at Chino Hills, 7 p.m.
Yucaipa at Walnut, 7 p.m.
Rowland at Don Lugo, 7 p.m.
Glendora at Whittier, 7 p.m.
Baldwin Park at Leuzinger, 7 p.m.
Second round games
Citrus Valley at Damien, 7 p.m.
Bonita at Brea Olina, 7 p.m.
South Torrance at Los Altos, 7 p.m.
San Marcos at Charter Oak, 7 p.m.
Second round games
Alemany at Azusa, 7 p.m.
Wilson at Bishop Amat, 7 p.m.
Northview at Atascadero, 7 p.m.
Covina at St. Francis, 7 p.m.
Second round games
Workman at Serra, 7 p.m.
Big-Bear-Banning winner vs. La Verne Lutheran at University of La Verne, 7 p.m.
“I told him (Peters) and our whole team that they’re trying to take away Peters,” Bissman said. “I told (Peters) don’t let them do that. He looked at me and said, ‘give me the ball coach,’ and he did the rest.”
It wasn’t smooth sailing, however.
Harrell, who nailed three 3-pointers for 12 points, opened the fourth with a 3-pointer to give the Colts their biggest lead of the night, 50-36.
“That’s what he does, he’s our shooter,” Bissman said of Harrell. “He has no conscience. He’ll miss 12 in a row and shoot the next one, I love that kid.”
The Titans didn’t go away, however, scoring 10 unanswered points in less that three minutes to claw back.
After DJ Williams’ bucket and free throw to finish a 3-point play, the Titans had cut the Colts’ lead to 50-46 with 5:45 left.
Williams kept at it, burying a 3-pointer with 30 seconds left to trim the Colts’ lead to 61-58.
After Peters fell to the ground and was called for travelling with 20 seconds left, Pioneer had an opportunity to send it to overtime with the last possession.
Josh Fitten, who finished with a team-high 14 points, drove to the basket with 10 seconds left instead of trying for a game-tying 3-pointer and was turned away by Covina’s Chris Sotello, who swatted it away.
Covina’s Kevin Quach made a pair of game-sealing free throws to close it out.
“I give that team a lot of credit, they kept fighting,” Peters said. “We would make a big shot and they would come right back with a big shot. I give them a lot of props.”
Bissman didn’t want to sweat it out after nearly blowing a 14-point fourth-quarter lead, but it wasn’t the first-time Pioneer made them work.
The Colts fell behind the Titans by 15 points in a Martin Luther King showcase game back on Jan. 16 before rallying to win, 60-54.
“They’re so resilient,” Bissman said of Pioneer. “It was the same type of game as the first one, back and forth, back and forth. They’re a well coached team.”
The Titans (9-19) had four players finish in double figures.
In addition to Fitten’s 14, Jonathan Mayorga and Kyle Latimer finished with 11 each and
Williams had 10.
Titans coach Gregory Gilmore was disappointed they fell so far behind to start the fourth.
“I’m speechless,” Gilmore said. “I don’t know what to say. We clawed back but there was no way we should have been down by that much (14). We’ve been playing real well the last three or four games, but we didn’t play our best game tonight. It’s a little disappointing.”
Covina’s Chris Sotello scored eight of his 15 points in the second half as the Valle Vista League champion Colts improved to 20-8 and will play St. Francis in Friday’s second round.
“It’s great to win and keep playing,” Bissman said. “The playoffs are exciting, you never know what’s going to happen.
“I thought our guys fought hard all night. We had a lead and gave it up but all that matters is the final score at the end of the game. We’ll take it and move on.”