Friday, February 15, 2008

Chargers rout Villa Park in first round of CIF


With a second-half offensive burst that made them nearly untouchable, the Dos Pueblos boy’s basketball team routed visiting Villa Park last night in a 73-55 first round CIF playoff win.
For Chargers forward Sean Park, who led the team with 18 points, the victory was a sweet redo compared to 2007, when Dos Pueblos made an early exit from the payoffs with a first round loss.

“It feels good to win in front of the home crowd,” he said. “Now we finally came out and got it I guess.”
After a sluggish first quarter that showcased a strong Villa Park team that outscored the Chargers 22-16, Dos Pueblos roared back with a ferocious effort on both sides of the ball.
On the offensive side, Chargers center Malik Heptot was a dominating force beneath the basket, grabbing a number of offensive rebounds that he promptly converted to points.
Heptot wasted little time letting the Spartans know he meant business. He scored a quick lay-up to open the quarter and on the next play, grabbed an offensive rebound that he quickly put back in for two.
Parks nailed a three-pointer two plays later to make the score 23-24 and after a series of turnovers on both sides, Heptot put it in beneath the basket and drew the foul. A missed free throw prevented the Chargers from tying it up at 28, but with 1:42 remaining in the half, Heptot threaded a smooth lay-up after Ryan Beall fed him with a quick assist off the fast break that put the score at 31-31.
Chargers head coach Joe Zamora said the game was a breakout performance for Heptot.
“We know he has that ability,” Zamora said. “And we’ve been giving him more and more minutes throughout the season.”
It would be the last time the Spartans would get a glimpse of hope despite only a slight 35-33 edge to the Chargers at the half.
From minute one in the third quarter, the Chargers dominated the young Villa Park team, outscoring them 23-5.
While there was little doubt the lopsided quarter was the result of hefty offense on the side of Dos Pueblos, Zamora said Villa Park’s lack of offense was due to a fierce defensive attack by his team, which he said was the keystone to many of their victories this season.
Zamora said his team has a much greater chance of winning, “when we want to play defense.”
He said he knew the Spartan’s offense would flounder if they had to convert shots off the dribble, so his players made them put the ball to the ground and very few of the visiting team’s shots fell.
While that was the case for the Spartans, the home team had little trouble getting shots to fall.
The Chargers shot nailed 32 field goals, five 3-pointers and were 6-of-13 from the free-throw line, while Villa Park hit 17 field goals, had four 3-pointers and were 16-of-27 from the line.
Three minutes into the third quarter, Beall missed a free throw, got a hold of his own rebound and nailed a jumper to open up a 47-37 lead.
Three plays later, Robert Vickers gave the Chargers a 52-37 lead with a towering shot from beyond the arch.
By the time the fourth quarter began, Dos Pueblos already had a comfortable 58-38 lead.
With 4:48 remaining in the game, Vickers began to light up the floor. After making a steal, he broke free and rolled in the lay-up to give the Chargers a 66-42 lead. Three minutes later, he grabbed another steal, went one-on-one with a Spartan’s defender, spun around him and dropped it in the basket to give the Chargers a 71-49 lead.
With the win, the Chargers will face either Los Alamitos of Englewood in the second round.
Park summed up the general feeling of the second half.
“We just came out with a different kind of intensity that in the first half and ran them off the floor,” he said.

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