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Villa Park team raise the CIF Southern California Division III Regional Championship plaque after defeating Colony at Colony in Ontario on Saturday, March 18, 2017. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Orange County Register/SCNG)

Villa Park finishes strong against Colony, wins Division III of SoCal Regionals

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

ONTARIO - Villa Park's boys basketball team seized control with a dominant third quarter and rolled to a 78-67 victory over Colony of Ontario to capture the CIF Southern California Regional Division II championship Saturday at Colony.

The Spartans (26-6) will play Northern California regional champion Mission of San Francisco in Sacramento on Friday for the CIF State championship.

Villa Park lost to Colony, 74-70, in the game for the CIF-Southern Section championship on March 4 at the Honda Center, but rose to the occasion for a solid all-around performance in the rematch.

“This wasn’t about a revenge win,” Villa Park coach Kevin Reynolds said. “It’s nothing about making up or anything. We just had to play our best basketball every night and we did a great job tonight.

“The best part of it is I don’t have to stop coaching.”

Sophomore forward Julien Franklin scored 19 points, senior guard Caleb Banuelos had 17, senior floor leader Myles Franklin had 13, senior center Daelyn Bams came off the bench for 11 points, four rebounds and two blocked shots, and junior center Mathew Lanzone had 11 rebounds and four points.

The Spartans trailed, 38-34, at halftime. They tied it at 40 on Julien Franklin’s 15-foot jumper and scored the next 12 points for a 52-40 lead with 2:30 remaining in the third.

The Titans (30-6) had their 18-game win streak snapped. They closed to within six, 66-60, with 3:22 to play on Alex Ochoa’s 3-pointer from the corner, but never narrowed the gap further.

Villa Park scored six straight on an inside shot by the 6-foot-9 Bams, a free throw by Myles Franklin and a free throw and basket by Banuelos for a 72-60 lead with a minute to play.

Villa Park outscored the Titans, 24-6, in the third period. The Spartans were 9 of 12 from the floor, 4 of 6 on 3-pointers, and 2 of 2 at the free throw line.

“We played our best game of the season,” Reynolds said. “Defensively, we had to be really good and offensively we made good shots at the right time.”

The Spartans had more open looks from the perimeter in the third period.

“We made a couple of adjustments for the second half to loosen things up a little bit and I thought we relaxed a little bit,” Reynolds added. “I thought we wore them down a little bit, we just kept seven guys. I think everybody played pretty well tonight.”

Reynolds credited Myles Franklin, the 6-foot-4 senior point guard, with managing the pace of the game.

“Myles did a great job,” Reynolds said. “I thought he did really well controlling the tempo of the game, which really important.”

Myles Franklin said he enjoyed the sweet taste of revenge.

“We had unfinished business and we knew we wanted revenge on them,” he said. “I think the state is a little bit bigger than the CIF, but we still have one more game to try to win.”

Banuelos connected on 6 of 10 field goals, 2 of 4 3-pointers, and was 3 of 4 at the free throw line.

“I thought Caleb Banuelos was a stud,” Reynolds said.

Julien Frnaklin was 6 of 11, 2 of 3 on 3-pointers, from the floor and made 5 of 6 free throws. Bams was 5 of 5 from insid, including a two-hand stuff.

“Julien was great, and there really wasn’t anybody who didn’t play well,” Reynolds said.


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