Boys Hoops: La Verne Lutheran advances with 68-52 win over Big Bear

La Verne Lutheran played its first game without Arizona-bound junior Eric Cooper Jr., who suffered a broken finger in Lutheran’s CIF-Southern Section Division 4AA first-round win over Marshall.

Cooper’s broken finger will eventually require surgery and he’s doubtful for the rest of the playoffs, but the Trojans’ other Arizona-bound player, McDonalds All-American senior forward/center Grant Jerrett, is still what makes the Trojans go and he had another monster game in Saturday’s 68-52 second-round win over Big Bear at the University of La Verne.

Jerrett finished with 29 points, 12 rebounds, three blocks and had eight dunks to help the second-seed Trojans (20-6) advance to Tuesday’s second-round, where they will be on the road at Oaks Christian (22-5).

Lutheran’s game with Big Bear was postponed until Saturday because of snowy conditions in Big Bear that forced the Bears to wait until Friday to beat Banning in the first round.

Lutheran raced to a 14-0 lead, but couldn’t put away the feisty Bears, who knocked in 12 3-pointers and closed to within nine points in the fourth quarter, but that’s as close as they got, finishing the season 21-3.

Lutheran’s McKay Anderson also had a big game, finishing with 16 points, six rebounds and three assists. Cameron Osorno gave the Trojans three players in double figures, finishing with 10 points and five assists.

Listen to postgame reaction from Trojans coach Eric Cooper, who explains the challenge of trying to win a divisional title without Cooper Jr., and the chances of his return in the playoffs.

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  • EyeOnTheBall

    BIG BEAR. aka Lauch CityMajority of coaches have been there. A lot of former players have been there. That game where you see your opponent, and you formulate your conclusion before the outcome. 95% of the people in the building KNEW who was going to win, it was just a matter of HOW. LL players seemed to have their conclusions set in their minds, and the coaching staff spent the whole game trying to change it. With the great equalizer(the 3pt shot) in full effect, the scrappy, undersized, and severely undermanned(from an athletic standpoint) bears put forth a great effort and possibly exposed some holes for the OAKS coaching staff. LL was without #21(broken finger) and outside of #33 and #20, seemed a bit uninterested, and possibly a little uncomfortable without #21After falling behind 14-0 out the gate, BIG BEAR basically played LL to a stand still as LL outscored them 54-52 the rest of the way. . BB took advantage of a lack of interest on the defensive side(slow on switches/weakside and on-ball closeouts) and were able to get to any spot and almost any shot they wanted most of the game. They showed patience and commitment to their system with the execution of their offense. They were even able to get to spots down low off dive cuts off the high post, and solid penetration by a quicker-than-you-think-pg #4. but most of those however, were erased by #33 for LL. BB knocked down at least 12 3s. 5 by #4, and 6 by #21 , 1 of them off glass over an out-stretched close-out of #33 that cut it to 61-52 with under 5 to go. BB had 2 poss. to cut it to 7 or less, but they had a 3pt go long, followed by a turnover. The closest BB would get was 8, in the 3rd at 32-24. LL was of course led by #33. 29 pts and at least 6 dunks. And solid play from the wiry-athletic lefty #20 who scored 16, including the dagger-dunk that put LL up 63-52. BB also received solid efforts from both #32 and #13 who busted their tails trying to keep #33 off his spots It will be interesting to see if getting a game under their belts without #21 will help LL in the next round. But with such a depleted bench due to injuries, plus going on the road to take on a solid Oaks Christian team, it will take a strong effort(which they are capable of) to advance, with or without himSpecial thanks to the BB fans for rolling down and creating a very entertaining atmosphere. And hats off to BB coaching staff, (who played Friday night at 6pm and drove down for a 1pm game) for having his team ready. His team put forth an effort that was both tremendous and entertaining.Good luck to LL the rest of the way