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PAUL RODRIGUEZ, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Edison's Tommy Barlow is excited about playing in the CIF-SS Division 2AA championship game Saturday night at the Honda Center.

Edison's Barlow savoring chance to play in title game

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Edison’s boys basketball team is full of players who have worked hard.

Only three players currently on the roster were a part of the varsity team when the Chargers fell to Foothill in the CIF-SS Division 1A final last winter.

The rest, inspired by the deep playoff run, fought for their spot on the team.

For Chargers senior Tommy Barlow, that fight didn’t begin with the offseason.

It began in the summer before his junior year.

At the time, Barlow was set to enter his first season in the rotation at Hillcrest in Simpsonville, S.C.

He had just watched his teammates finish as the runner-up to Wando of Mt. Pleasant, SC.

Excited at the opportunity to join that special group, Barlow was in the midst of offseason training when he suffered a horrendous setback. He tore the ACL, MCL, and meniscus in his right knee.

Barlow watched from the sidelines as his team engineered another run to the state championship.

He faced a long rehab, one that prevented him from playing any form of competitive basketball for 15 months.

“I really haven’t ever been 100 percent,” he said. “My legs aren’t as strong. It’s hard for me to come back from something as big as that injury.”

Following the death of his grandfather, Barlow’s family moved to Huntington Beach to be closer to his grandmother.

As the Chargers’ starting center, the 6-foot-7 Barlow has been able to reel in critical rebounds against the opposition’s bigs. He provided 12 points and 10 rebounds in Edison’s semifinal victory over Kaiser of Fontana.

“You can play all the great defense that you want, if you can’t rebound, it doesn’t really matter,” Chargers coach Rich Boyce said. “Tommy has been very good at getting rebounds in traffic for us, and he’s been very good at getting rebounds against bigger kids.”

Barlow has to wear compression socks to nurse the injury, but no amount of gear will weigh down his spirits as he readies for the Chargers’ CIF-SS Division 2AA final against Ayala of Chino Hills on Saturday at Honda Center.

“This is like a real big dream come true to be able to play at this level because I never really got to play back home in South Carolina,” he said. “This is awesome for me.”


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