By Fred J. Robledo
It looked like it would be one of those nights for the Glendora High School basketball team.
Everything was falling.
The Tartans drained their first four 3-point attempts and raced to a 10-point lead in the first three minutes against visiting Los Osos on Friday.
But sometimes the green light isn’t always a go.
After the 3s stopped falling for Glendora, Los Osos climbed back and took over in the fourth quarter, pulling away for a 79-68 victory after the Tartans led most of the night.
Grizzlies point guard Tide Osifeso scored 20 of his game-high 23 points in the second half, burying six 3-pointers to help Los Osos improve to 13-6 and 2-2.
“We knocked down shots,” Osifeso said. “We’ve had problems against teams that zone, and Glendora packed it in. But we made them pay and that opened up the inside and we got baskets in the paint too.
“And when we can get out in transition like we did in the fourth, we’re tough to beat.”
The Grizzlies had four players in double figures.
Levi Smith finished with 19 points, Deaviae Bailey had 11 and Khalil Wiliams finished with 10.
Glendora led 31-20 with 3:28 to go in the half, but the Grizzlies closed with a 9-2 run to cut the lead to four at the break.
Glendora’s Christian Snyder got the crowed fired up with a put-back and completed a free throw for a 3-point play to put the Tartans up 41-35.
But Smith’s jumper with 4:12 left in the third quarter gave the Grizzlies their first lead, 42-41 and it was tied, 50-50 going to the fourth.
That’s where the Grizzlies took over, hitting back-to-back 3-pointers and opening on a 14-3 run to take a 64-53 lead following Smith’s dunk.
Osifeso’s third 3-pointer of the quarter opened it up to 72-58, and that was that.
Glendora’s Brandon Brothers finished with a team-high 19 points with seven rebounds. Thomas Rico finished with 18 points and A.J. Bigornia had 17.
After starting with four straight 3s, the Tartans cooled off and finished 10-for-30 from behind the arc, missing 10 straight at one point.
“We’re still confident,” Bigornia said. “The shot wasn’t falling. It’s frustrating, but we have to keep taking them. It happens like that sometimes.”
Glendora dropped to 15-5 and 1-3 in the Baseline. But anyone that follows high school basketball knows that’s not a big deal.
Glendora is ranked third in the CIF-Southern Section Division 2A, and will make the playoffs whether they finish first or last.
Unlike football where a tough league can cost a playoff spot, Bigornia says the Baseline, where five of the six teams have winning records and two (Etiwanda and Rancho Cucamonga) are among the best teams in Division 1AA — there is no downside to stiff competition every night.
“We’re use to it,” Bigornia said. “Of course you want to win, but this gives us confidence for the playoffs. When you go against playoff-caliber teams every night, it gets you ready.”
By Fred J. Robledo