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Esperanza Wins Title; Greer Hurt


Esperanza won its first Sunset League title in rather subdued fashion Friday night and might have lost one of its key players in the process.

Forward Josh Greer had 18 points and five rebounds to lead the Aztecs to a 54-37 victory over host Edison, but he left the game in the third quarter because of an injured right foot. Greer missed several games last season with a broken bone in that same foot.

Greer, 6 feet 7, was just starting to warm up when he asked to be removed after sinking two free throws to give fourth-ranked Esperanza (23-3, 9-1) to a 41-26 lead with 1:35 left in the third quarter.

"I went along the baseline and when I stopped I felt and heard a pop," said Greer, who was limping. "I don't think I broke it, but it's very sore right now."

Coach Mark Hill wasn't overly concerned at first, but he conceded he thought it was serious enough to "keep him off it for several days."

The injury dampened the enthusiasm of the Aztecs, whose offense did not do well against Edison (14-11, 5-5), but nevertheless got the job done.

Esperanza begins the Division I-AA playoffs and Edison will compete in the Division 1-A playoffs next week. It was the third league title in the last five seasons for Esperanza, which moved from the Empire League to the Sunset League two seasons ago.

Esperanza made 19 of 28 free-throw attempts and 17 of 38 shots from the floor Friday, but its defense came through in the second quarter, when Edison was held to two points--two Brian Slusser free throws.

"We came out real soft early in the game," Greer said, "But we stepped it up later. When people look back, they'll see that Esperanza won the championship, they won't say how pretty the game was."

The Chargers, who clinched a playoff spot Wednesday night with a victory over Marina, committed 26 turnovers and made 13 of 42 field-goal attempts.

Esperanza guard Matt Munson scored 13 points, all but two of those in the first half. Chris Gibson led Edison with 12 points and Slusser had 10 rebounds.

In other Sunset League games:

Fountain Valley 69, Huntington Beach 62--Nathan Strange scored 27 points and Timm Katz had 23, but Fountain Valley (11-14, 4-6) finished fourth in league and needs an at-large berth to reach the playoffs.

Matt Jones scored 28 points for host Huntington Beach (6-18, 3-7).

Los Alamitos 74, Marina 46--Chris Glass scored 20 points for Los Alamitos (19-6, 8-2). Teammate A.D. Lamoureux scored 19 points for the Griffins, who finished second behind Esperanza.

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