Los Alamitos's Pepe Garcia, right, takes a shot at the basket while under pressure from Canyon's Bryce Roczey during Friday's nonleague game at Canyon.

Los Alamitos' Garcia makes name for himself in win


ANAHEIM – It might be easy to forget about Pepe Garcia when Los Alamitos senior Eyassu Worku is on the court.

Friday night, Garcia made sure everyone remembered his name and his game

The senior guard scored 37 points, including eight 3-point field goals, to lead the fourth-ranked Griffins to a 74-60 nonleague road victory over the Comanches. Garcia shot 14 of 23 from field and eight of 14 on 3-point field goals.

“He’s capable of doing that,” Los Alamitos coach Eddie Courtemarche said of Garcia. “He was being a little hesitant in the first half and I kind of got on him and said when you’re in there, you have to be our offensive threat and he took that to heart and he mad a change in his game.”

Garcia’s previous season high was 17. Courtemarche said the all-time Los Alamitos single-game record is 42. Worku had 39 earlier this season.

While Worku was in early foul trouble in the first half, Garcia was finding his groove from distance. He had 17 points at halftime as the Griffins led, 34-19.

Garcia came out and opened the second half with 14 points in the third quarter, including a step-back 3-point field goal that gave the Griffins a 58-35 lead.

He said the basket started looking huge to him early in the game.

“It felt just like a regular game,” Garcia said. “The coach gave me the confidence and the team was telling me let’s go, let’s eat and it was a great game.”

The Griffins (5-1) led by 19 entering the fourth quarter, but the Comanches (2-4), led by freshman guard AJ Perry rallied to get within 63-55. That was as close as the Comanches got. On the next trip down the court, Cary Makiyama nailed a floater and Worku made a pair of free throws to quiet the Canyon charge.

Worku finished with 13 for the Griffins. He also had 8 rebounds, four assists and four steals.

“They came back, like we knew they would, they hit some shots and we didn’t defend the perimeter very well,” Courtemarche said. “Luckily we made some plays down the stretch.”

Perry led Canyon with 20 points. Justin Trias and Jordan Holden had 19 and 14, respectively.

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