CIF state basketball: Las Lomas gives moving effort, though falls to Chino Hills

March 24, 2018 - Basketballs

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SACRAMENTO — Las Lomas didn’t win a state championship Friday night, didn’t finish a ancestral deteriorate with a final prize.

But if any diversion embodied a suggestion of this group — a heart and enterprise that led to so many wins by a winter and desirous associate students and alums, immature and aged — this was it.

The Knights didn’t compare adult opposite Chino Hills, a vastly higher jaunty team, and positively looked cursed when they fell 22 points behind in a initial half.

But Las Lomas didn’t stop charging, didn’t stop believing, didn’t go divided until a final second rolled off a clock.

Chino Hills won a Division we championship 73-68 during Golden 1 Center, though Las Lomas gave a many fans who showed adult to hearten it on one heck of an effort.

“Every diversion we come in with a same mindset; we only can’t fold,” pronounced indicate ensure Robert Prince, who had 24 points and 7 rebounds while personification all 32 minutes. “That’s only not us as a team. We are only not going to lay behind and let somebody kick adult on us.”

Chino Hills (26-11) no longer has Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball, who led a module to an Open Division championship dual years ago, though it still has a brothers’ cousin, Andre, a 6-foot-5 forward.

It also has 6-9 Onyeka Okongwu, a matchup calamity for any team, and 6-3 guard Ofure Ujadughele, a locomotive who doesn’t bashful divided from a rim.

Chino Hills was mountainous high in a initial entertain and early stages of a second, so most so that a diversion looked finished. The Huskies led 34-12 and 36-14 before Las Lomas switched to a territory that gave it life.

“I consider we competence have practiced too late,” Las Lomas coach Brian Dietschy said. “Put us in a large hole. Probably should have practiced to that territory maybe a small bit quicker. We were a small desirous with a offense in a commencement of a game.”

Reminded that Chino Hills had a lot of talent on a court, Dietschy added, “We trust we could have won. This group believes we should have won tonight. Unfortunately, we didn’t get it done. Hats off to Chino Hills. They’re a good team.”

Las Lomas (31-4) trailed 44-29 during halftime and a necessity widened to 17 when Ujadughele scored in transition to start a third quarter.

The Knights pulled to within singular digits after in a entertain as a tyro territory — clad in relating black T-Shirts — roared.

They finished a quip with their standout, Nathan Robinson, on a dais in tainted trouble. Robinson returned in a fourth entertain and finished with 18 points and 7 rebounds.

But another standout, Devin Payne, fouled out with 6:24 to go.

Still, a Knights kept charging.

“We fought compartment a end,” Robinson said, with tears in his eyes. “We knew it was going to be a battle. Like we pronounced before, no matter how most we get down, we still stay staid and we know we’re going to come back. We came back. We only couldn’t get it finished today. We played a hardest. That’s all we can ask for.”

Okongwu finished with 27 points, 14 rebounds and 5 blocks to lead Chino Hills.

Ujadughele combined 20 points and Ball finished with 17.

Las Lomas trailed by 8 when Okongwu fouled out with 3:50 left though never could make it a one-possession game.

“It was most some-more stressful than we wanted it to be, though we theory that’s because it’s called a state championship game,” Chino Hills coach Dennis Latimore said. “We’ve been a group all year long. We’ve had a integrate of good players, generally with O. He’s been a leader.

“When he went out, partial of me was like, ‘This is how we’ve got to win a state championship. We have to do it for 4 mins but a guy.’ That’s what they did.”

J.T. Estes had 12 points for Los Lomas on 5-of-6 shooting, earning regard from teammate Prince.

“We showed a heart,” Prince said. “Big shouts out to J.T. Estes. He only has a lot of heart. He started it, and we all only jumped on a bandwagon. We only have heart.”

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