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Canyon shows it's still hungry
Tales of Canyon’s epic comeback in the CIF-SS boys basketball final swirled through the gym Wednesday night as the Comanches played host to Kearny of San Diego in the opening round of the CIF Southern California Regionals.
There were stories about how many times players and coaches watched the video of Canyon’s rally from a 28-point deficit against Lawndale in the CIF-SS Division 2AA final on Saturday.
And there were memories about an unsung hero and key statistics.
But for all the legend created, the Comanches still showed against Kearny that they are far from satisfied.
Canyon sank a school-record 18 3-pointers, including a career-high eight from senior Jake Emeterio, en route to a 98-65 victory that advanced the second-seeded Comanches to the second round of the Division II bracket Saturday.
Canyon (24-9) will play host to La Mirada, which beat the Comanches, 61-56, in December, at 6 p.m.
Coach Nate Harrison’s team made its desire known in the opening minutes Wednesday by making 8 of 10 attempts from beyond the 3-point arc to open a 26-17 lead against the No. 15 Comets, who started in a 2-3 zone but switched to man.
“I don’t think we looked satisfied. I think we looked hungry,” said Harrison, whose team defeated Lawndale, 103-98, in double overtime.
“We feel like we’re going to play hard no matter what but you always wonder if there’s going to be some kind of letdown or that they’re satisfied. … Hopefully, we stay hungry.”
Emeterio scored 24 of his career-high 26 points in the first half. The 6-foot-3 player made 7 of 8 of his 3-point attempts in the first half. The Comanches made 14 of 18 overall.
Point guard Nick Anderson controlled the second half with drives to the basket and passes to open shooters on the perimeter. The senior scored 16 of his 23 points in the second half.
“Nick was in complete control,” Harrison said.
Jodan Rohan added 21 points, including five 3-pointers, while Chandler Dignam scored 16, including four 3-pointers. Kaleb Phillips scored all eight of his points in the second half.
Emeterio said he has watched the fourth quarter against Lawndale “about five times” but said the Comanches aren’t stuck on the game.
“We just want to get state,” he said. “We did CIF last year and made it up against Compton in overtime (and) had a pretty heartbreaking loss against them. Now, we want to get that second chance to maybe get it again.”
Canyon hopes to have Justin Trias against La Mirada. The junior guard, who scored 10 fourth-quarter points against Lawndale, left in the third quarter after having a tooth knocked out.
“He’s important to us,” Harrison said. “Trias came out no where (against Lawndale).”
Canyon also made 12 of 18 free throws in the fourth against Lawndale and 29 of 39 (74 percent) for the game. Lawndale went 22 of 38 (58 percent) from the foul line. But on Wednesday, the Comanches did their damage from beyond the 3-point line.
“No one is beating us if we shoot like that,” Harrison said. “Our kids are feeling confident right now.”
In Division III:
Corona del Mar 46, El Cajon Valley 33: The visiting Sea Kings (25-7) used a fourth-quarter surge to get past the Braves (25-7). Ryan Moss scored a team-high 10 points for CdM, which outscored El Cajon Valley, 19-7, in the final period. Ryan Stone, Kevin Fults and Ryan Kleinman each scored seven points for the Sea Kings. Corona del Mar plays at No. 2 Damien of La Verne on Saturday at 6 p.m.
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