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Fullerton's Size Sinks Bolsa Grande


One team looked at Wednesday's Division III-AA playoff game as a return to a winning tradition while the other wanted to begin a winning tradition.

And when it was over, Fullerton--the team with a gym full of basketball banners--was too much for Bolsa Grande.

The Indians' 76-60 victory, which sends them to a second-round game on the road Friday against top-seeded Torrance Bishop Montgomery, was not as easy as it appears. The Matadors trailed by only a point at the half, 34-33.

But a 7-0 spurt by Fullerton to start the third quarter broke open the game. Then Fullerton's muscle and defense made sure Bolsa Grande got no closer than four points the rest of the way.

There's no question the Indians' strength underneath was the deciding edge. Fullerton had a 23-13 rebounding advantage, which kept Bolsa Grande from fast-breaking at will. The Indians also shot 58% (33 of 57) from the floor.

The Matadors were 13 of 20 from the field in the first half, but only seven of 19 in the second. Eleven of Bolsa Grande's 15 turnovers came in the second half, but the Matadors' full-court pressure never did rattle Fullerton, which had nine turnovers in the game.

"This will let us feel good going into Friday's game," said Fullerton forward Sam Mankiewicz, who shared team scoring honors with David Brookman. Each had 16 points.

"At halftime we talked about defense. They had gotten too many easy shots in the first half on pick [and roll] plays. We shut that down in the second half and they got no easy shots."

Fullerton Coach Brent Fair said he was pleased with the victory but the Indians (15-12) would have to do better if they hope to upset Bishop Montgomery.

"That game for us will be like it was for Bolsa tonight--we'll have nothing to lose," Fair said. "The only people who think we can win are us.

"But we're playing a classy program. For us to win it will have to be a total team game, and have defensive intensity from the start. But, hey, anything can happen in the [section] playoffs, and usually does."

For Bolsa Grande, which ends the season 11-15, Wednesday was the first taste of what first-year Coach Dick Bradarich hopes is eventually an annual affair.

"We want to turn the program around here," Bradarich said, "but the first thing we had to do was change the attitude. The kids have to know that they have to compete every day, whether practice or the game. And tonight I hope we can start a foundation. I kept telling them I wanted them to be remembered by what they did here tonight."

The most effective players Bolsa Grande had were Duc Nguyen and Crispin Chavez, who had 23 and 20 points, respectively.

But the lack of size was apparent. Despite benefiting from the school's first full-time weight program for basketball players, the Matadors appeared much leaner next to the Indians.

Instead of wearing down Fullerton with speed, Bolsa Grande was pulverized by power, getting outscored, 42-27, in the second half.

In other Division III-AA games:

Calabasas 60, Pacifica 58--Gavin Citron hit a three-pointer with two seconds remaining to give Calabasas (15-11) the come-from-behind victory. Pacifica (10-17) led by as many as 18, before being outscored, 33-17, in the second half. Ryan Caraveo scored 21 and Brad Mastros had 18 for Pacifica. Calabasas, which will face third-seeded Sonora, was led by Citron with 23.

Magnolia 76, Azusa Gladstone 56--Sophomore Zamario Bennem scored 12 of his 25 points in the first quarter as Magnolia jumped to a 28-12 lead. Mister McKinney scored 18 points and had 10 rebounds, Ahmand Shurdim added 12 points and 10 rebounds and Vathana Singbandith had 12 assists. Magnolia (14-13) will next play at fourth-seeded Compton Centennial.

Servite 66, Silver Valley 54--Steve Hogan made all five of his three-pointers in the third quarter to help Servite take control by outscoring Silver Valley, 25-10. Lance Day had 19 points and nine rebounds and Hogan had 19 points for Servite (14-13), which rallied from a three-point halftime deficit. Servite plays at Pomona Saturday.

In Division III-A:

Corona del Mar 52, West Hills Chaminade 46--Brian Coleman scored 17 points and Adam Klinke added 14 for the host Sea Kings (16-10), who won despite making only 14 of 35 free throws, including eight of 21 in the fourth quarter. Corona del Mar, which led, 22-11, at halftime, plays at La Canada Friday.

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