Basketball Semifinals: Damien gets past Walnut; Bonita, Bishop Amat square off in tourney final for No. 1 in the Valley

Damien 66, Walnut 60
It takes a lot to beat the Damien High School boys basketball team.
Walnut found out how tough it is Friday night.
Jeremey Hemsley scored 19 points and Malik Fitts had 18 and the Spartans used a 14-0 blitz during the middle of the fourth quarter to score a 66-60 victory over the Mustangs in a Glendora Tournament semifinal game at Glendora High School.

Damien, also getting 11 points from Micah Robinson, improved to 4-0 and advanced to tonight’s championship game to face Burbank — which beat South Pasadena, 54-42 — at 7:30.
Walnut, getting 16 points from Rob Harrelson and 14 from Zuri Williams, slipped to 4-4. The Mustangs, who led 35-30 at halftime, will face South Pasadena, also at Glendora High School at 6 p.m. Host Glendora will face Don Lugo at 4:30.
Damien, after trailing, 35-30, at halftime and 50-48 after three quarters, used a three-minute stretch to take command. Fitts hit a 3-pointer to tie the score at 53 at with 6:27 left the fourth quarter before Hemsley made one of two free throws for a 54-43 advantage at 6:01. Fitts followed with a 3-point play before Tyler Ginyard hit a 3-pointer for a 60-53 edge with 4:22 remaining. Isaiah McCullough and Hemsley converted putbacks to complete the 14-0 blitz for a 64-53 lead with 2:57 left.
Damien coach Matt Dunn: “Walnut does a great job of keeping the game at their pace. We had trouble all game long. There was a three-minute window where we did things right. Malik Fitts hit some big shots and Jeremy made good decisions down the stretch. But I never really felt like we were in a very good rhythm.”
Jeremy Hemsley: “We started off kind of slow. It was kind of a sloppy game. We never lose confidence. Whenever where we are in a situation where we are losing, we always feel confident. We’re not going to get down on ourselves. We’re going to try and play harder than the other team.”
Burbank 54, South Pasadena 42
Burbank, after South Pasadena tied it at 40 during the middle of the fourth quarter, closed its semifinal win with a 14-2 run to advance to face Damien. Joey Toyama scored nine points to lead South Pasadena (4-3).
South Pasadena coach David Lutzeier: “We didn’t play our best game. I think it’s a hangover from beating Glendora (on Wednesday). We were really excited to beat Glendora, and I think it kind of drained us.”

Damien-Walnut photo gallery
Friday’s semifinals

Damien 66, Walnut 60
Burbank 54, South Pasadena 42
Saturday’s championship at Glendora
Damien vs. Burbank, 7:30 p.m.

Friday’s semifinals
Bonita 59, Cantwell Sacred Heart 51
Bishop Amat 42, El Rancho 33
Saturday’s Championship at Covina HS
Bonita vs. Bishop Amat, 8 p.m.

Friday’s semifinals

La Canada 69, Montclair 55
California 54, Wilson 45
Saturday’s Championship at Arroyo
La Canada vs. California, 7:30 p.m.

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