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Huntington Beach earns date with No. 3 seed

OCVARSITY.COM

PICO RIVERA – Huntington Beach's boys basketball team beat league champions Ocean View, San Clemente and Fountain Valley this season. It also lost to the two teams that finished beneath it in the Sunset League.

"We tend to play up and down to competition," Oilers coach Fabian Luna said. "That is one of our weaknesses."

The Oilers' fickleness made for a tense 53-46 road victory against El Rancho of Pico Rivera on Friday in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 1A playoffs.

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OCVarsity Hot Shots1: Friday's basketball games

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It might serve the Oilers (17-10) better Tuesday when they play host to No. 3 seed West Ranch of Santa Clarita.

"We match up well against West Ranch," Luna said. "(This) wasn't our best game this year, but we found a way to win. We were fortunate."

The Oilers, a Sunset League at-large team, advanced despite making only two field goals in a fourth quarter in which they led by one point at the outset. They forced six turnovers in the final frame and grabbed three offensive rebounds that led to second-chance points. The last one came from forward Grant Vis with Huntington Beach leading 45-43 and less than two minutes left.

"When we needed to get rebounds, we got the rebounds," Luna said. "When we needed to get stops, we got the stops."

And when the Oilers needed to make free throws, they made them.

They closed the game making eight in a row. Forward Andrew TenBrink made six free throws late in the fourth and finished with 10 points. Forward Harley Ruder scored a game-high 15 points and guard Ryan Morrissey had 12.

Morrissey's jumper early in the fourth quarter gave the Oilers a 39-38 lead. His 3-pointer moments later gave the Oilers a four-point cushion.

Contact the writer: amaya@ocregister.com


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