California, Damien, Rowland and Covina advance to Covina Boys Basketball Tournament Final Four tonight

Covina Boys Basketball Tournament
Thursday’s quarterfinals

California 69, Los Altos 53
Damien 77, Northview 74, OT
Rowland 66, Bishop Amat 29
Covina 64, La Salle

California vs. Damien, 7 p.m.
Rowland vs. Covina, 8:30 p.m.

Consolation Bracket
Sierra Vista vs. San Gabriel, 10 a.m.
South El Monte vs. Garey, 11:30 a.m.
Azusa vs. Mt. View, 1 p.m.
South Hills vs. Charter Oak, 2:30 p.m.
Fifth-place Bracket
Los Altos vs. Northview, 4:30 p.m.
Bishop Amat vs. La Salle, 5:30 p.m.

By John Sherrard
You can always go home.
And that’s exactly where California head coach Jason Van Duyne went Thursday night in a quarterfinal game of the 59th annual Covina High School Christmas Tournament.
Van Duyne, who played basketball at Covina, watched his team defeat Los Altos, 69-53, in a game featuring two different halves.
After holding a 27-26 lead after two quarters the Condors pulled away, particularly at the free-throw line, and cruised to their ninth victory of the season against four losses.
Los Altos fell to 7-4.

California was a perfect 9 for 9 in the third quarter and 7 of 9 in the fourth quarter on free throws.

The Condors will play Damien, a 77-74 overtime winner over Northview, tonight at 7 p.m. in the championship semifinals.

In the other semifinal game, Rowland, a 66-29 winner over Bishop Amat, will play the winner of the Covina/La Salle game tonight at 8:30.

“I went to Covina High School in the mid 90s and played varsity basketball with (Covina coach) Willie Bissman,” Van Duyne said.

“So to come back here in this tournament and be successful really is important to me.”

Cal was led by junior Carlos Legaspy and forward Richard Kastl, each of whom had 14 points. Los Altos guards Yahshua Haith and Christian Espinoza finished with 16 and 11 points, respectively.

Los Altos, which was only 11 of 21 from the free-throw line, trailed 13-12 after the first quarter. The Conquerors went on an early 6-0 run behind the 3-point shooting of Haith, who finished with four 3-pointers.

After both teams scored 14 points in the second quarter to give California the one-point lead at halftime, the Condors couldn’t miss at the free-throw line in the third quarter. Kastl, who is a sophomore, went 6 for 6 in the quarter and the Condors built a 46-36 advantage after three quarter.

Los Altos had its best quarter with 17 points in the fourth, but the Condors scored 23 points. They were led by a combined 13 points from Legaspy (seven) and sophomore Jake Mata (six).

Cal high’s senior backcourt duo of Andrew Garber and Matthew Lambrecht added 12 and 9 points, each.

“They (Los Altos) were keying on him (Lambrecht) and I just made myself available,” Garber said.

Los Altos junior forward Aiden Barcelo and senior forward Danny Ahn had eight points apiece.

In the consolation bracket quarterfinals, San Gabriel defeated Azusa 63-46, Mountain View routed Sierra Vista 68-34, South Hills beat South El Monte 57-45 and Charter Oak got past Garey 55-48.

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