Boys Hoops: Glendora and Keppel advance, will meet in championship at Glendora tonight at 7:30

SEMIFINALS: Glendora got 18 points from Brandon Brothers in an easy 63-42 win over Walnut and Keppel’s Kyler Lee poured in 28 points in a narrow 55-50 win over Rowland to advance to tonight’s championship

By Steve Ramirez, SGVN

Glendora and Keppel high schools were both pushed after enjoying early leads Friday.

But both showed their poise, making key plays down the stretch to score wins and advance to tonight’s Glendora Tournament boys basketball championship game.

The host Tartans, getting 18 points from Brandon Brothers and 15 from Thomas Rico, closed the final four minutes with an 18-5 run on their way to a 63-43 victory over Walnut.

Kyler Lee scored 28 points and Keppel overcame a second-half charge from Rowland to score a 55-50 win.

The Tartans (9-1) and Aztecs (6-3) will square off for the title at 7:30 p.m. today at Glendora High.

“Keppel’s another really well-coached team,” Glendora coach Mike LeDuc said. “They run their stuff really well. They play really hard, have some good shooters.

“I think it’s really good for us to play a good team like that. Hopefully, we play well.”

The Tartans played just well enough to get by Walnut, which looked like it might pull off the upset after cutting a 15-point deficit to 45-37 with six minutes left in the fourth quarter following back-to-back baskets by L.J. Besong.

But Glendora came up big down the stretch.

Rico and A.J. Bigornia hit back-to-back jumpers to push it to 49-38 with five minutes left before Rico nailed a 3-pointer for a 54-40 lead at 4:23.

“It really came down to that we made some big defensive stops and we got some baskets off some free-lance basketball,” LeDuc said. “That’s what made the difference.”

Glendora then wrapped it up with a Rico short jumper and a putback by Kyle Bracy for a 60-43 lead with 2:22 left.

Besong led Walnut (5-3) with 12 points.

“We don’t believe in the moral victory type thing,” Walnut coach Josh Cameron said. “We want to win every game. I’m encouraged by their fight, but I believe my kids will fight every game. I think we gave a bad performance late in the third and fourth quarters.”

Keppel, which led Rowland 18-2 at one point in the first half, used a 16-5 surge in the fourth quarter to put away the Raiders (6-3). Lee had 10 points in the fourth quarter, including a 3-pointer that gave the Aztecs a 53-42 lead with 1:24 to play.

“We let the lead get away,” Keppel coach Hung Duong said. “But I like how our kids responded. They hung tough, stayed with it and we pulled it out.”

Rowland, getting 14 points from Chris Arzadon and 11 from Joe Dioniso, came back from a 17-point deficit in the first half with 34-17 run to get even at 37 going into the fourth quarter.

But they couldn’t stop Lee and the Aztecs late.

“We had good energy to begin the fourth quarter,” Rowland coach Gordon Hamlow said. “But you can’t get behind like that and have to play catch-up and expect your energy to be there the whole game.”


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  • gtownalum2008

    lets go gtown lets win this title!! one more guys

  • Tournament Director

    Covina Christmas Tournament (December 26 – 29, 2012)

    Last minute drop out, must find one team to fill in 16 team bracket. There will be no charge. All games played in the recently remodeled Covina High school gym. If interested, please contact Coach Bissman immediately by phone, text, or e-mail.

    Coach Bissman
    (626) 484-6383

    1. Damien
    2. La Salle
    3. Rowland
    4. Cal (Whittier)
    5. Covina
    6. Bishop Amat
    7. Los Altos
    8. South Hills
    9. Northview
    10. Charter Oak
    11. Mountain View
    12. Sierra Vista
    13. South El Monte
    14. Azusa
    15. Bassett
    16. ???????

    • gtownalum2008

      maybe arcadia i saw they dont have any games in that timeframe

  • gtownalum2008

    congrats glendora on the championship 62-49 winners won the first 3 quarters but dominated in the second with 23 points i believe

  • socalhoops fan

    Typical Glendora tournament with a bunch of weak teams to pad their win total. Coach LeDuc is only interested in winning 20 games/year and the weak competition does not prepare the team well for league or cifss playoffs.