Ballestero's fourth-quarter surge helps Canyon win

ORANGE – Sophomore point guard Anthony Ballestero scored 13 of his career-high 18 points in the fourth quarter as Canyon snuck past Yorba Linda, 54-50, Monday night at Chapman University in the first round of the Orange Holiday Classic.

“Anthony has been making big plays all year long and he plays a lot smarter than a sophomore,” Canyon coach Nate Harrison said. “We’ve had great point guards here over the last seven years, and he’s just the next in the long line of really talented players.”

In a game that featured 23 lead changes, eight ties and no lead that exceeded six points, it was No. 9 Canyon (9-2) who took a 37-36 lead into the fourth quarter. 

Ballestero scored the first eight points for the Comanches, but the Mustangs (4-7) eventually grabbed a 48-47 lead with under 90 seconds remaining in the game.

Ballestero responded by burying a 25-foot 3-pointer with one minute remaining, re-claiming a 50-48 lead. He went on to grab the rebound on the potential game-tying shot, and sunk the two ensuing free throws to seal the victory for Canyon.

Kevin Chitwood led the Mustangs with 17 points.

In other Orange Holiday Classic Games:

Arroyo Grande 52, Huntington Beach 36: Brennan Rivera and Brent Van der Veen combined to score 29 points as the Eagles (7-4) proved to be too much for the Oilers (6-5) to handle in a first round matchup.

“I don’t think we showed up to play today,” Huntington Beach coach Fabian Luna said. “I’m okay with losing games, but when you don’t show up, and play with no effort, that’s what stings.”

Huntington Beach’s only lead came in the opening minutes of the contest, when it went up 3-2. The Oilers converted on only six field goals through the first three quarters, and finished the game 10-for-44 from the field.

Blake Skorich and Harley Ruder each scored 12 points to pace Huntington Beach.

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