Fountain Valley's Josh Armstrong goes up for a shot as Edison's Brodie Barton defends during the first half of their game.

Fountain Valley wins wild Sunset battle with Edison


HUNTINGTON BEACH — In the waning minutes of a tight Edison-Fountain Valley boys basketball game Wednesday night, the biggest difference between the Sunset League rivals was not talent or effort but age.

“Edison is very talented, they’re very disciplined, they’re very well-coached,” Fountain Valley coach Roger Holmes said. “But they’re sophomores.”

Four of them, in fact, were on the floor throughout a fourth quarter in which the Chargers built an eight-point lead. They remained there as Fountain Valley’s all-senior rotation tightened up.

The Barons closed the game on a 13-0 run to beat the Chargers, 63-58, in a clash between league unbeatens at Edison High. 

Fountain Valley (16-4, 4-0) is a step closer to its first league title since 1995. Edison (13-8, 3-1) has been perhaps an even bigger surprise considering its youth and that it was projected to finish near the bottom of league.

“The one thing you can’t measure is a team’s heart,” Edison coach Rich Boyce said. “My team’s got a lot of heart. They never let me down with their effort. I told them the gap is closing between us and the really good teams. It’s maybe a quarter of an inch right now.”

That is about how close Edison sophomore guard Brae Ivey came from making a tying 3-pointer in the final seconds. Ivey carried the Chargers through several spurts and finished with 17 points. Reserve forward Kevin Johnson scored 18 points on six 3-pointers, the final one giving Edison a 58-50 lead with about five minutes remaining.

“That might be the greatest game I've ever seen one of my guys off the bench play,” Boyce said. 

Fountain Valley switched to a 1-3-1 half-court trap and forced four turnovers while not allowing another point. Guard Josh Armstrong and forward Joey Petersen imposed their will on the offensive end and erased the deficit. Reserve guard Mark Girgis’ layup broke the 58-all tie.

Petersen led all scorers with 19 points and Armstrong had 17 and 10 assists.

The Barons, holding an advantage in size at just about every position, were taken out of their run-and-gun offense for the second game in a row.

“We were out of sync the entire game,” Holmes said. “They shot the heck out of it. We gutted it out. It was a senior win. (That) is how you can describe it better than anything. It’s a huge game and a tough loss for them. But it’s something that’s going to make them better.”

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