CIF-SS Boys Basketball Playoffs: Damien crushes Diamond Bar 71-33; Gladstone topples traditional Southland power Artesia, 50-41; Amat wins

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Above: Inland Insider Tom Kiss and former Bishop Amat great Kristen McCarthy with highlights, and interviews of Chino Hill’s open Division victory over Bishop Montgomery

Chino Hills wins Open Division opener: The packed crowd came to its feet in anticipation.
Chino Hills’ UCLA recruit, Lonzo Ball, had the ball on a breakaway in the final minute and went up for what he hoped to be a thunderous dunk. Somehow it did not go in.
It was about the only thing that went awry Friday night for seventh-seeded Chino Hills in a 69-58 victory over No. 10 Bishop Montgomery to open the CIF Southern Section Open Division playoffs.

Walnut goes down: No. 14 seed Walnut ran into a buzz saw against Los Osos in a CIF-Southern Section Division 1AA first-round game on Friday night.
The Grizzlies (15-12) were just too big and too strong under the basket as they knocked off the Mustangs 75-73 in front of a standing-room only crowd.

Damien plays Diamond Bar in their CIF playoff boys basketball game at Damien High School in La Verne on Friday February 21, 2014. Damien defeated Diamond Bar 71-33. (Staff Photo by Keith Durflinger/San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

Damien plays Diamond Bar in their CIF playoff boys basketball game at Damien High School in La Verne on Friday February 21, 2014. Damien defeated Diamond Bar 71-33. (Staff Photo by Keith Durflinger/San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

DAMIEN 71, DIAMOND BAR 33

LA VERNE — Any thought of the Damien High School boys basketball team resting on its laurels of last season’s CIF-Southern Section Division 3AA championship, it’s first the 50-plus history of the school, were quickly put to rest Friday.
Jeremy Hemsley scored 16 points and Malik Fitts had 12 and the Spartans opened the Division IAA playoffs with a bang, routing Diamond Bar, 71-33.
Damien, the division’s No. 4 seed, improved to 22-6 and will face either No. 13 Great Oak or Highland in Tuesday’s second round, Diamond Bar, getting eight points from Leo Li and seven from Christian Manalo, finished 11-17.
The Spartans put this one away by halftime, holding the Brahmas to four field goals in the first half and led 36-11.
Damien, getting a 3-pointer by Micah Robinson and consecutive inside shots by Bryce Peters and Isaiah McCullough opened the game with a 12-4 run before opening the second quarter with a 12-2 surge to go up 26-9 following a 6-footer by Hemsley and 3-pointer by Fitts and a dunk off a turnover by the Fitts for a 26-9 lead with 3:51 left in the half.
The Spartans then closed the quarter with a 10-2 run for its 36-11 lead.
Damien opened the third quarter with an 11-5 surge to put it away at 47-16.

Damein’s Jeremy Hemsley: “This was a game to prove to people that we’re ready to make another run like last year. I think we did a pretty good job, both defensively and offensively. We had four days to prepare. We were ready. I think we just knew more about them than they knew about it us.”

Malik Fitts: “This is a game we were looking forward to. It’s playoff time, so everyone was a little excited. We didn’t get off to a great start, but we finished strong. I’m proud of my team for that.”
Diamond Bar’s Leo Li: “They’re a good team. We didn’t play our best game. But they’re a good team. I will give them that. We just didn’t execute.”

CIF-SS PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
BOYS BASKETBALL
FRIDAY’S FIRST ROUND
OPEN DIVISION

Chino Hills 69, Bishop Montgomery 58
DIVISION 1AA
Damien 71, Diamond Bar 33
Los Osos 75, Walnut 73
DIVISION 2AA
Westlake 65, Rowland 40
Eisenhower 89, Glendora 88
Claremont 63, Cajon 58
DIVISION 2A
Sonora 73, Nogales 42
Kaiser 74, Los Altos 70
SECOND ROUND
DIVISION 3AA

La Mirada 48, Bonita 34
DIVISION 3A
Bishop Amat 45, Antelope Valley 43
Lompoc Cabrillo 77, El Monte 61
Gladstone 50, Artesia 41
St. Francis 69, San Dimas 45
DIVISION 4AA
Oaks Christian 82, Workman 53

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  • sgvball

    Lets hope some SGV teams can stay alive besides the Dbar/Damien game.
    1st round games
    Walnut had a great regular season and that Los Osos game is a tough matchup but the style and intensity they play with, it should give them an edge
    Rowland is probably overmatched vs a huge Westlake team but if they get hot from the outside they might be able to hang around for awhile
    Glendora should be able to take care of Eisenhower after going through that tough league and that should pay off in playoffs but its always tough to go on the road
    Sonora will probably make quick work of Nogales who has struggled of late
    Los Altos and Kaiser should be a very competitive game two solid programs going at it
    Bonita will always have a chance with the way they play but La Mirada may have too much down the stretch
    2nd round games
    Bishop Amat will have a tough test with that drive but definitely has a shot to pull out the W and make the quarters
    El Monte will most likely see there season end handily, but a 2nd round appearance is a great turnaround from where they were last year
    Gladstone with their size and senior experience should be able to out grind Artesia and pull off a tight one to keep their impressive year going
    San Dimas might have a shooters chance against St. Francis if their guards can keep them in the game with shooting and penetration.
    Workman is in for a long night if JP struggles against the length of those wing defenders Oaks Christian has.