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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 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
FRIDAY’S FIRST ROUND
Chino Hills 69, Bishop Montgomery 58
Damien 71, Diamond Bar 33
Los Osos 75, Walnut 73
Westlake 65, Rowland 40
Eisenhower 89, Glendora 88
Claremont 63, Cajon 58
Sonora 73, Nogales 42
Kaiser 74, Los Altos 70
La Mirada 48, Bonita 34
Bishop Amat 45, Antelope Valley 43
Lompoc Cabrillo 77, El Monte 61
Gladstone 50, Artesia 41
St. Francis 69, San Dimas 45
Oaks Christian 82, Workman 53