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.