High School Boys Basketball: St. Paul holds off Pioneer comeback

St. Paul’s Henry Llera is double-teamed by Pioneer’s Luis Rangel, left, and Miguel Mena during Tuesday’s game. (Christopher Burt / Correspondent)

By Eric Terrazas, SGVN

WHITTIER – St. Paul High School withstood Pioneer’s furious third-quarter rally to come away with a 59-53 victory in Tuesday’s second-round game of the Titan Pride Classic boys basketball tournament.

Henry Llera scored 16 points to pace the Swordsmen (3-3), who advance to Thursday’s semifinal game against Gabrielino, which is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Pioneer High School.

“We were able to finish and execute at key points of the game,” St. Paul coach Shawn Clingan said. “It was a great effort by our team.

“We’re looking forward to the rest of this tournament.”

Courtney Ahamnisi turned in an impressive performance for the Titans (5-3), scoring a game-high 27 points. The Titans will next play a consolation game Thursday against King Drew at 4:30 p.m.

After Pioneer took a 46-43 lead in the early stages of the fourth quarter, St. Paul took over momentum by going on a 6-0 run and staying in front for the rest of the contest.

Paul Telles started the Swordsmem’s surge with a 2-point basket, which was followed by back-to-back field goals by Llera.

St. Paul went on to outscore the Titans to 16-9 during the fourth quarter.

St. Paul took a 28-19 lead into halftime by seizing momentum in the second quarter.

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