There was no stopping defending Nevada state champion Henderson Liberty in its four-game visit to Southern California this week. Dedan Thomas Jr. scored 23 points and came through with clutch shots and clutch free throws in the fourth quarter Friday night to help Liberty hand Harvard-Westlake its first defeat of the season, 59-56, in the Platinum Division championship game of The Classic at Damien.
Thomas was aided by the strong three-point shooting of Angelo Kambala, who made seven threes and had 23 points. Harvard-Westlake (16-1) fell behind by 16 points in the first half, cut its deficit to seven points at halftime, closed to within 57-56, but that’s when Thomas made two free throws with nine seconds left to secure the championship.
Trent Perry scored 19 points and Robert Hinton had 16 points for Harvard-Westlake.
Bishop Montgomery 77, Taft 42: The Knights improved to 16-0 and won the Platinum Division of the SoCal Christmas Classic at South Pasadena. Christian Jones was named tournament MVP. Bishop Montgomery plays Narbonne on Saturday at Lynwood in a tournament game, then Gardena Serra next week in a league opener before taking on Harvard-Westlake at Redondo Union on Jan. 7.
West Ranch 61, Etiwanda 52: The Wildcats will enter 2023 with a 16-1 record after a strong finish at Damien. Isaiah Fields scored 17 points. Curtis Williams scored 19 points for Etiwanda.
Santa Margarita 62, Dublin 43: Ethan Rhee had 22 points, making six of seven from three-point range, to lead the Eagles.
Saugus 78, Washington Prep 74: The Centurions won in double overtime. Max Tengan contributed 27 points and seven assists for Saugus.
St. John Bosco 94, San Ysidro 69: The Braves cruised to victory in San Diego to enter Trinity League play with a 13-3 record. Kade Bonam finished with 23 points and Jack Turner had 22 points.
Rancho Cucamonga 79, Auburn (Wash.) 68: Aaron Glass scored 22 points and Shadale Knight added 10 points and 10 assists in an overtime victory for Rancho Cucamonga.
Colony 53, Pacifica Christian 46: Jaidyn Simpson and Denzel Hines each had 20 points for Colony (11-4) in a consolation championship game of the Damien Classic.
AJ Swinton, a 6-6 junior transfer from Va. Oak Hills Academy, is in the Southern Section transfer portal with paper work going to Sierra Canyon. He’d be the fifth transfer for the Trailblazers this school year alone.
— eric sondheimer (@latsondheimer) December 31, 2022
Sierra Canyon 81, Las Vegas Bishop Gorman 66: The Trailblazers won the third-place game at the Les Schwab Invitational in Oregon. Sierra Canyon confirmed it is getting a top transfer student from Oak Hill Academy in Virginia, AJ Swinton, who has enrolled and is going through Southern Section transfer review just in time for the start of Mission League play next week. Ashton Hardaway, who transferred from Texas, led Sierra Canyon on Friday night with 21 points.
Pacifica Christian 62, Santa Monica 53: JJ Martin had 22 points for Pacifica Christian. Joshua Hecht led Santa Monica with 17 points.
Clovis North 56, Heritage Christian 54: Tae Simmons finished with 18 points for Heritage Christian.
Damien 69, Diamond Bar 50: Nate Garcia’s 26 points powered the Spartans to the Bronze Division championship.
American Fork (Utah) 76, Sherman Oaks Notre Dame 66: The Knights lost in the Damien Classic. Mercy Miller had 24 points and Caleb Foster added 22 points.
St. Anthony 50, St. Francis 36: George Tupy had 11 points for St. Francis.
Campbell Hall 70, La Mirada 69: The Vikings won the Silver Division championship at Damien on a basket by Baron Bellamy at the buzzer.
Mater Dei 81, Stockton Lincoln 54: The Monarchs (12-2) won their division of the Desert Holiday Classic, handing Lincoln (11-1) its first loss. Zack Davidson was named tournament MVP. He finished with 18 points. Owen Verna made six threes.
De La Salle 62, JSerra 51: Aidan Fowler scored 19 points for the Lions.
Village Christian 73, Rolling Hills Prep 67: The Crusaders prevailed in double overtime. Kenny Manzi scored 25 points and JV Brown had 20 points for Rolling Hills Prep.
Crespi 38, Beverly Hills 35: The Celts pulled out a win in a defensive struggle.
Rio Mesa 65, Agoura 64: David Williams led Rio Mesa with 19 points and nine rebounds. Nasir Meyer finished with 30 points for Agoura.
Dominguez 70, West Torrance 58: Isacc Sowell had 21 points and 25 rebounds for Dominguez.
Granada Hills Kennedy 76, Fremont 43: Tyler Paczkoski led Kennedy with 15 points.
El Dorado 54, Westview 38: Cooper Bladow led El Dorado to the consolation title at Mt. Carmel with a 21-point performance.
Downey 52, Villa Park 38: Downey improved to 16-1 and won the Greater Palm Springs Division championship, with Jacob Topete named tourney MVP. He finished with 15 points.
Lehi (Utah) 50, Westchester 44: The Comets lost in the American Division final in the Torrey Pines tournament. Jonathan Choyce scored 13 points and earned all-tournament recognition.
Servite 48, Viewpoint 39: Scott Schulz scored 14 points for the Friars (10-4).
Oak Park 44, Sage Hill 40: Isaiah Sherrard scored 25 points for the Eagles.
Enumclaw (Wash.) 63, Thousand Oaks 61: Jacob Kjarval had 17 points and Trent MacLean 14 for Thousand Oaks.
Kaysville (Utah) Davis 57, Simi Valley 50: Ryder Mjoen led the Pioneers with 19 points and seven rebounds.
Calabasas 56, Grant 53: Gavin Murphy’s 17 points sparked the Coyotes.
Buena 55, Westlake 51: Kayden Elsokary scored 26 points for Westlake.
St. Paul 66, San Gabriel Academy 55: Maurice Wright scored 20 points to help St. Paul improve to 14-5.
Etiwanda 56, St. Mary’s 46: The Eagles improved to 13-0 by winning the West Coast Jamboree Platinum Division championship. Kennedy Smith had 24 points and 19 rebounds.
Westchester 67, South Pasadena 40: The unbeaten Comets (11-0) won the SoCal Hoops Classic in San Diego. Mariah Blake scored 22 points and had 13 rebounds. Ron’yae Jackson added 18 points.
Sierra Canyon 58, Washington Camas 53: The Trailblazers stayed unbeaten behind the duo of Mackenly Randolph and Juju Watkins. Randolph had 24 points and 11 rebounds and Watkins contributed 23 points and 13 rebounds.
Leuzinger 65, Granada Hills 64: Marianne Boco scored 24 points for Granada Hills in the West Coast Holiday Platinum Division championship game.
Servite 1, Loyola 0: Elgin Nualart had the only goal and Talin Morgan and David Lim combined for the shutout to lift the Friars to 8-0-3 on the season.
Cathedral 2, De La Salle 1: Alex Bastidas and Matt Murillo had goals for the Phantoms.
Girls’ water polo
Holiday Cup Champions!!!
In a tournament featuring the top teams in SoCal the Lancers girls water polo team came out on top!
OLu beat Carlsbad, Mater Dei, Los Alamitos, and San Marcos en route to the title. The Lancers are a perfect 8-0.#OLuOn2 /// #WeAreOLu pic.twitter.com/GKoASrsFSm
— OLu Athletics (@OLu_Athletics) December 31, 2022
Orange Lutheran 14, San Marcos 12: The Lancers won the prestigious Holiday Cup tournament championship.