Etiwanda has been known as “clamp city” for years because of the way the team plays man-to-man defense under coach Dave Kleckner. The Eagles put their skill on display before a packed gym on Saturday night against No. 1 Sierra Canyon in the semifinals of the Platinum division of the Classic at Damien.
From the beginning, Etiwanda (11-2) gave Sierra Canyon (14-0) all it could handle, but in the end, the Trailblazers got clutch plays from Shy Odom to pull out a 57-53 victory and advance to Monday’s championship game. Odom’s basket in the final minute put the Trailblazers ahead and he added a free throw with 17 seconds left. The Eagles twice had opportunities go ahead but missed shots. BJ Boston clinched the victory with two free throws. He finished with 31 points.
Sierra Canyon trailed 31-30 at halftime, but one very important quality shown by the Trailblazers in the opening month is performing well in the second half after making adjustments. They opened a 39-31 lead in the third quarter. Sierra Canyon will be getting a big addition on Monday. Ziaire Williams, the former Sherman Oaks Notre Dame standout, will become eligible.
The Trailblazers will face Rancho Christian at 8:30 p.m. at Damien in the final. Rancho Christian is the last team to defeat Sierra Canyon in the final regular season game from last season. Rancho Christian defeated St. John Bosco 70-58 in the other semifinal. Bryson Stephens scored 16 points, Evan Mobley 15 and Luke Turner 1`2. Josh Camper had 21 points for St. John Bosco.
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Washington Prep (9-8) advanced to the Gold division championship game by defeating unbeaten Rolling Hills Prep 52-47 in overtime. DeShawn Johnson led the way with 16 points. The General have played the toughest schedule of any City Section team and continue to hang tough. Brandon Burks made a free throw with 2.7 seconds left for Washington to send the game into overtime. Washington Prep will play Santa Clarita Christian, a 67-55 winner over Chaminade. Kaleb Lowery scored 25 points.
Birmingham was beaten by Richmond Salesian 61-55. David Elliott scored 22 points.
Dylan Andrews was 10 of 10 from the free-throw line and finished with 20 points in Windward’s 73-70 win over Damien. Kijani Wright added 16 points. Malik Thomas led Damien with 36 points.
Barry Wilds scored 16 points to help Fairfax reach the consolation final in the Platinum division with a 76-69 win over Dublin.
Ribet knocked off St. Bernard 80-72 behind Tyler Powell, who scored 25 points.
Heritage Christian (13-2) defeated Jesuit 72-52. Skyy Clark scored 30 points and Max Allen 26.
St. Francis defeated Village Christian 51-34 and will play in the Silver division final. Andre Henry scored 22 points.
In Oregon, Santa Ana Mater Dei advanced to the tourney final with a 63-45 win over Norcross. Devin Askew had 23 points.
Andrew Ramirez scored 26 points to help Oxnard (16-1) defeat Buena 77-51. Oxnard will play Servite in the Ventura tournament final on Monday. Servite defeated Shalhevet 69-37. Tavavis Miller had 21 points.
At the Holiday Classic in San Diego, Evan Oliver scored 21 points to help Riverside Poly defeat Bishop O’Dowd 72-63. Riverside Poly gets Corona Centennial transfer DJ Davis eligible on Monday.
Westchester was beaten by Sheldon 77-64. Joseph Johnson had 19 points for Westchester.
JSerra received 32 points from Ian Martinez in a 63-57 win over Desert Vista.
Crespi advanced to the championship game of the Orange tournament with a 54-39 win over Warren. Mike Price and Robert Power each scored 17 points.
Ben Shtolzberg scored 21 points as Sherman Oaks Notre Dame defeated Bakersfield 65-63.
Loyola won the Sand Dune Classic behind tournament MVP Colby Brooks, who scored 15 points in a 59-58 win over St. Ignatius.
Dylan Stone scored 22 points in Crossroads’ 73-45 win over Moreau.
Mission Viejo defeated Tesoro 60-55 in the semifinals of the Tustin tournament.
Adrian McIntyre scored 35 points but Saugus lost to Florida Westminster Catholic 67-64.
Brentwood defeated Clovis North 62-58. Christian Moore had 21 points and 20 rebounds.
Oak Park improved to 12-2 with a 76-61 win over Murrieta Mesa. Clark Slajchert scored 34 points.
Jake Hlywiak finished with 30 points in Valencia’s 84-70 win over Colony.
Moorpark received 27 points from Troy Anderson in a 65-42 win over Alta Loma.
Bishop Montgomery defeated Maranatha 60-28. Isaiah Johnson scored 17 points.
Peyton Watson scored 28 points but Long Beach Poly was beaten by Dillard 67-58.
Hart defeated Grant 79-77. Dipa Salim scored 24 points for Grant. Highland defeated Granada Hills 63-55.
Alemany handed Palisades a 78-64 defeat. Brandon Whitney scored 30 points. Nico Ponce added 21 points. Alemany will play Bishop Montgomery for the So Cal Christmas Classic championship on Monday.
Quincy McGriff scored 19 points to lead Santa Monica past Lynwood 67-64.
In Arkansas, Corona Centennial defeated Jacksonville 58-54. Paris Dawson and Donovan Dent each scored 14 points.