By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
Damien sophomore point guard Jeremy Hemsley watched the lane open up late in the second quarter and took off just inside the free throw line, falling inches short of delivering a monstrous dunk in the the Spartans’ easy 60-45 victory over Wilson in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 3AAA boys basketball playoffs Friday.
On a night that got easier by the quarter for the second-seed Spartans, that qualified as a highlight as Damien advanced to the quarterfinals for the fifth straight season.
“I thought I had it,” said Hemsley, who dunked on a break minutes earlier. “My eyes got wide.”
Damien (22-7) advances to face unseeded Temescal Canyon, a 67-61 winner over seventh-seed Temple City, on the road Tuesday.
Hemsley scored 16 of his game-high 17 points in the first half and rested nearly all of the fourth as the Spartans built a 23-point second-half lead. (To continue click thread).
CIF-SS Boys Basketball Playoffs
Friday’s first round results
Chino Hills 68, Montclair 40
Diamond Bar 64, California 50
Edison 64, Walnut 61
Santa Fe 56, Rowland 55
Beaumont 73, Baldwin Park 63
Glendora 58, Hemet 48
Friday’s second round
Bonita 59, Colony 54
Royal 69, Claremont 29
Diamond Ranch 53, Jurupa Valley 52
Damien 60, Wilson 45
Temescal Canyon 67, Temple City 61
Cathedral 69, Bishop Amat 34
Tahquitz 61, Covina 58
St. Francis 61, San Dimas 38
La Verne Lutheran 54, Muir 53
JSerra 65, Workman 38
Tuesday’s playoff schedule
Rancho Verde at Chino Hills, 7 p.m.
El Toro at Diamond Bar, 7 p.m.
Dominguez at Glendora, 7 p.m.
Bonita at Tustin, 7 p.m.
Diamond Ranch at Santa Margarita, 7 p.m.
Damien at Temescal Canyon, 7 p.m.
Windward vs. La Verne Lutheran at UOLa Verne 7 p.m.
Hemsley also had eight assists to go with four rebounds, showing a feel for the game that he didn’t have as a freshman.
“He’s a special kid first,” Damien coach Matt Dunn said. “The evolution from his freshman to sophomore year has been great. He’s understanding the game a lot better. He’s probably a kid who could score 30 a lot if that was his sole focus.
“But he can control the game so many ways. He can control it with rebounds, can control it defensively. He’s just a special, special, player.”
The Spartans have a lot of them.
Senior shooting guard Jared Dizon finished with 13 points to go with four rebounds and four assists and Keith Cavanaugh finished with 11 points.
Dizon, like Hemsley, does so many things, even on a night he wasn’t particularly hot from the perimeter.
“We get so many shots because of Jared,” Dunn said. “Whether he’s making shots or not, he really sets the tone for our energy and stuff. I thought he affected the game in a lot of ways.”
Wilson (16-13) got a team-high 13 points from Brandon Miramontes and 11 points from Erick Ramos.
Wilson hung tough early, trailing only 18-14 after the first quarter.
But the Wildcats only managed one field goal in the second quarter, falling behind 36-19 at half.
“We hoped coming in our length would be hard for them,” Dunn said. “They have a lot of great shooters. I thought if we could fight through their screens well enough, we could defend them.
“It took us a while to figure out their rhythm, but once we did, we changed a lot of shots and that got us our lead.”