By Jim Tortolano
In a barnburner of a game featuring lots of floor burns, fouls and free throws, Santiago High’s boys’ basketball team toppled Bolsa Grande from its perch atop the Garden Grove League race with a 49-44 victory Wednesday night at the Cavalier gym.
The Cavs’ come-from-behind win knotted up the GGL race with both teams at 4-1 at the halfway mark of the campaign. Rancho Alamitos remains in the hunt with a 3-2 mark in third.
“We knew it was going to be close,” said Santiago coach Al Robertson. “Both teams played hard. It was our night.”
Oscar Alcantar led the purple-and-white with 11 points, followed by Chris Robertson with 10. Pacing the visitors were Van Phan with 13 points and Justin Phan with 11.
In a physical, low-scoring game, the Matadors moved out to early leads, starting with a 5-0 run to start the contest. But the Cavaliers battled back and tied the game at 11 on Angel Estrada’s basket with 45 seconds to go in the first quarter. A trey by Robertson put Santiago up for the first time a few seconds later and the Cavs ended the period with a 14-12 lead over the defending league champs.
Bolsa rallied in the second quarter and the game went into halftime with the Matadors ahead 25-23. They extended their lead to 28-25 early in the third on a three-pointer by Van Phan, but that was the high-water mark for the red-white-and blue as the home team surged back ahead at 2:18 of the quarter and kept a two-to-four point edge for the rest of the contest.
The Matadors had a chance to close things up late in the fourth, but missed several key free throws. The teams traded possession and points until time ran out. Adrian Montes, the 6-foot, 6-inch Cavalier center, was a force inside all night. He scored eight points and jammed up the middle for Santiago and rebounded a fistful of misses.
Bolsa (15-6 overall) will get another shot at the Cavaliers (13-8) at the Matador gym in the final game of the regular season on Feb. 9. And we’ll see whose night it is in that Thursday matchup.
In games Wednesday night involving teams serving the Garden Grove-Huntington Beach-Westminster area:
Garden Grove League
- Santiago 49, Bolsa Grande 44
- Rancho Alamitos 55, Los Amigos 46
- La Quinta at Garden Grove
Golden West League
- Loara 66, Orange 43
- Ocean View 73, Segerstrom 45
- Santa Ana 45, Westminster 41
Garden Grove League
- La Quinta 34, Garden Grove 22
- Bolsa Grande 28, Santiago 14
- Los Amigos at Rancho Alamitos
San Joaquin League
Categories: High school sports