Sunny Hills High School left no doubt which is the best team in the Freeway League on Wednesday night, romping to an 85-42 win over Fullerton in the championship game of the Freeway League boys' basketball tournament.
Sunny Hills (20-3) will now enter the Southern Section 3-A division playoffs as the league's No. 1 team and will be assured a home game in the first round. Fullerton (14-9) will be designated as the league's No. 2 entry and Troy will be No. 3 after a 63-57 win over Buena Park.
Sunny Hills had the win over Fullerton wrapped up with 2:28 remaining in the first half after a three-point shot by reserve guard Jon Beuerlein that pushed the Lancers ahead, 38-18.
The Lancers continued to pile up points in the second half and had a 40-point lead when Coach Steve White cleared his bench with 3:23 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Sunny Hills never trailed, opening a 10-3 lead in the first quarter and the rout was on.
"They played super and we played very poorly," said Randy Forgette, Fullerton coach. "They took the game to us, and we didn't respond at all."
There was some consolation for Fullerton, however. Last year, the Indians won the league title and then lost two straight games in the tournament, failing to qualify for the playoffs.
Brian McCloskey, Sunny Hills' 6-foot 7-inch forward, also left little doubt who is the best player in the six-team league. McCloskey scored 17 points and had 12 rebounds while hardly breaking a sweat in the steamy gymnasium.
But the picture isn't perfect for Sunny Hills as it prepares for the playoffs. White said he would learn next Tuesday if guard Chris Drakos would be academically eligible when report cards are released.
"It's an administrative matter, I don't know what's going to happen," White said. "Chris played great tonight. When he's loose, he makes things happen for us.
"We're playing like we did in December. There's no pressure on us, and the players let it loose tonight. There was more pressure to win last night (in the semifinals) than tonight."
In other tournament action:
Troy 63, Buena Park 57--Matt Crothers scored on a layup with 2:16 remaining to give the Warriors a five-point lead, and Troy went on to gain the win. Gary Hunter and Kevin Graddy, Buena Park's top players, missed five free throws between them in the final two minutes in a losing cause.
Crothers and teammate Jeff Holland each scored 16 points for Troy (15-8). Graddy led all scorers with 22 points as Buena Park ended the year at 12-11.