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MICHAEL KITADA, FOR THE REGISTER
Canyon's JoJo Ballestero moves to the basket against Serrano's Wyatt Dobrick.
See more photos in the OCVarsity Hot Shots slideshow.

Fast start sparks No. 3 seed Canyon

OCVARSITY.COM

ANAHEIM – The suspense was taken out of the gym early.

Canyon, the third-seed in the CIF-SS Division 2A playoffs, scored the first 13 points of Friday's first-round game against Serrano of Phelan and never looked back, going on for the 82-57 home victory.

The Comanches (19-9) will face Don Lugo of Chino in the second round Tuesday. Don Lugo defeated Western, 64-55. Don Lugo is the third-place team out of the Mount Baldy League.

"We knew right then that we were ready," Canyon's JoJo Ballestero said of the quick start. "A couple of weeks ago, we weren't really there together as a team, but the start put a stamp on it and told us that we're here for each other."

Canyon finished the regular season ranked 10th in the county.

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OCVarsity Hot Shots 2: Friday's basketball games

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Ballestero led the Comanches with 28 points. He made six 3-point field goals.

If the first quarter wasn't enough of a statement, then the second certainly was. Canyon opened by hitting its first nine shots to turn a 24-10 lead into 42-18 with 3:42 left in the first half.

Canyon made 9 of 12 field goals in the second period.

"We wanted to push the ball and score at our pace and not at their place," Ballestero said. "We're a small team and we play fast."

Devonte Parker (14), Nick Anderson (13) and Anthony Ballestero (12) also scored in double digits for Canyon. In total, Canyon made 14 3-point field goals.

"Coming in we knew they had two good guards," JoJo Ballestero said. "Our plan was to stop those two and hopefully the other players wouldn't get off."

The Comanches ended the regular season winning five of their last six games, including upset victories against Foothill and Villa Park. That late streak helped moved Canyon up to the third seed.

"I think we have a good draw," Ballestero said. "Winning those last two league games was big for us. It put us in a spot where I think we can get to the championship game."

Contact the writer: dcalhoun@ocregister.com


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