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HomeNewsPrep basketball playoff roundup: Blake Manning leads Tesoro into regional semifinals

Prep basketball playoff roundup: Blake Manning leads Tesoro into regional semifinals


Long ago, there was a time when high school basketball teams won with neighborhood kids. Tesoro evokes memories of another era.

The Titans have players who have known each other since third grade.

“We’ve been dreaming about this since high school,” said security guard Blake Manning.

It was Manning’s layup with 15 seconds remaining Thursday night that proved to be the deciding basket in a 50-47 victory over San Gabriel Academy that propelled the No. 2-seeded Titans to the Division II regional semifinals in South -California were pushed. They face Orange Lutheran on Saturday, the team they defeated a week ago to win the Southern Section 2AA Championship.

Manning made the shot of the night. Tesoro (31-4) clung on to a 47-45 lead. He drove to the basket from the right, then switched to his left to score. Manning finished with 12 points.

Carson Brown, averaging 23.9 points per game, came alive in the fourth quarter after struggling with his shooting. He provided clutch baskets to keep his team ahead and scored 11 of his 24 points in the final eight minutes. Jayden Mojica scored 16 points for San Gabriel Academy.

“This team really cares about each other and has been playing together since they were in grade school,” said Tesoro coach Steve Garrett.

Garrett called Brown the “greatest guard ever played at Tesoro.”

Brown said that while his shots didn’t fall, he had no intention of stopping firing. “I knew if I kept firing it would fall,” said Brown.

“It’s so great to coach this team,” said Garrett. ‘It’s a community school and the kids are great. It’s just a dream to coach these kids.”

Sierra Canyon beats Etiwanda

Dylan Metoyer performed for the Trailblazers in a 61-55 victory over Etiwanda.

At times, Metoyer becomes invisible amid all the pomp and circumstance, the only four-year varsity player on the Trailblazers besides Bronny James. His job is to distribute, to control, and that often doesn’t make the various cameras following the Trailblazers around every turn a highlight.

“I feel like people should pay more attention to the composure and poise he brings to the game,” said teammate Osiris Nalls Jr.

Grabbed respect, by the entire Sierra Canyon gym, in a landslide victory.

Despite a clear aggressiveness from James’ tip, who finished with 21 points, Etiwanda fought the glass tooth and nail and played hard on the interior never to give the Trailblazers too much momentum in the transition. And a small lead in the fourth quarter slowly faded away, Alton Hamilton of the Eagles blasted in and gave Etiwanda all the momentum with one minute to play, just one point behind.

With only 12 seconds left on the shot clock, the Trailblazers’ play broke down on offense. Noah Williams dribbled, spun to nothing, picked up the ball with no options and threw a cross-court pass to Metoyer on the left wing with only a second left in possession.

The senior point guard hadn’t scored all night. It didn’t matter.

Without hesitation, he caught, raised, and buried a three as the shot clock buzzer rang to put the Trailblazers up 57-53 with 32.5 seconds left to secure the win.

In other basketball playoff games:

Orange Lutheran defeated Downey St. Pius X-St. Matthias 66-64.

Reese Widerburg made six threes and finished with 24 points to help Oxnard beat La Mirada 61-58 in Division II. Oxnard will face Newport Beach Pacifica Christian, a 48-38 King/Drew winner.

The top-seeded Sherman Oaks Notre Dame advanced to Mater Dei in the Division I semifinal after a 59–38 win over Mira Costa. Caleb Foster scored 28 points for the Knights. Mater Dei defeated St. Bernard 69-66 behind Luke Barrett by 25 points.

No. 2 seed Bishop Montgomery defeated Rancho Christian 68-60. Will Smith scored 20 points. The Knights will host Sierra Canyon on Saturday night.

In Division III, Camarillo defeated Oakwood 54-37 to make it a three-way victory for the Jaquez family. Marcos Jaquez scored eight points. His brother, Jaime, won when UCLA beat Arizona State in Pauley Pavilion and his sister, Gabriela, won when UCLA beat Arizona in Las Vegas.

In Division IV, Valencia received 24 points and 24 rebounds from Bryce Bedgood in an 82–65 win over Grant.

Luca Evans contributed to this story.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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