Wednesday, February 20, 2008

DP takes down Los Alamitos in playoffs


Dos Pueblos out-hustled and out-muscled visiting Los Alamitos for a 61-51 win during the second round of the CIF Southern Section basketball playoffs in front of a raucous crowd at the Charger gym.
Senior forward Sean Park stood out with a game-high 22 points as the No. 10-seeded Chargers took down the No. 8-seeded Griffins with quick drives to the basket and a swarming defense.

“We’ve been playing phenomenally over the last month,” Park said. “…I guess I was just able to get a step on their defenders and get to the basket.”
On the defensive side of the ball, Dos Pueblos kept the ball out of the hands of Los Alamitos center Corbin Moore, who stood at least three inches over the tallest Charger.
“We know the big was going to try to get it in the box,” Coach Joe Zamora said.
By dropping a defender from the weak side, Dos Pueblos knocked away multiple attempts to get the ball inside to Moore, often resulting in fastbreak points the other way.
A screaming crowd of students spurred on their home team, standing up in the bleachers under a “Charger Country” sign and waving yellow pompoms. At critical times during the game, the student body seemed to sway the momentum in favor of Dos Pueblos.
“We’ve been talking about it all week, having a loud student body,” Coach Zamora said.
With the crowd behind them, the Chargers jumped to a 6-0 lead in the opening minutes of the game on a tip by Park, a layup by senior forward Ryan Beall, and a floater on the baseline by Beall.
Los Alamitos didn’t put in its first field goal until 5:18 left in the quarter with a tip inside. Park responded immediately with a drive along the baseline, netting the basket despite being fouled. Dos Pueblos led 11-3 after Park completed the three-point play.
A brief rally from the Griffins evened the score at 11 with two minutes left, but two quick layups by Beall and a close-range jumper from sophomore forward Malik Heptot stretched the score to 19-11 as the quarter ended.
After knocking away a pass attempt inside as the second quarter began, Beall drew two defenders as he sliced to the hoop, dumping the ball off to Heptot for an easy bucket. On their next possession, Park muscled his way into the lane, splitting two defenders and drawing a foul before tossing up an arching rainbow that fell through the net. His foul shot brought the score to 24-12 with 3:25 left.
Nearing the final minute of play in the half, senior guard Daniel Plancencia, the shortest Charger on the court at 5’10”, pulled down a board inside and sunk a quick jumper that got the crowd excited. Then, with seven seconds remaining, Park took the ball, drove left, spun off his defender and lofted a floater from six feet to pull Dos Pueblos out to a 37-21 halftime lead.
After a largely uneventful third quarter that saw Los Alamitos start a full-court press with five minutes remaining, the score stood at 45-33. Park sat out most of the quarter, leaving Beall to rack up five points, including a three-pointer from the top.
Park opened the final quarter of play with a cut to the basket, weaving around four defenders on his way to a seemingly effortless layup. Los Alamitos responded with a three-pointer and a bucket on a fastbreak to draw within 11.
After Park tossed the ball out of bounds while trying to break the full-court press, Moore sunk a close-range jumper to bring the Griffins within seven, prompting a Dos Pueblos timeout.
During the break, the student body started up a series of chants that seemed to reinvigorate the crowd and the Chargers. Following a Los Alamitos miss, senior forward Ben Johnson streaked down the floor and drew a foul as he dumped in a layup. Park pulled down Johnson’s missed free throw and put in his final bucket of the game during a 6-0 run that put the Chargers out of reach.
“He’s a leader for us,” Coach Zamora said of Park.
With their win over the Griffins, the Chargers move into the third round of the playoffs and will likely face off against No. 2-seeded Etiwanda, who played Foothill yesterday evening.
When asked if he thinks they can go the distance, Park grinned.
“We’ve got some tough games ahead of us, but never say never.”

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