Needing a cure for its recent tournament ailment, Chaminade High found relief in its own medicine cabinet.
The Eagles defeated San Francisco Riordan, 50-36, and won the Chaminade boys' basketball tournament Wednesday night, capping a 4-0 run less than two weeks after struggling in the Valencia tournament, where they went 2-2 and finished seventh.
The difference: Defense.
Very generous during most of the Valencia tournament, the Eagles buckled down on their home floor, allowing only 40.3 points per game.
Chaminade gave up only two points in a pivotal third quarter against Riordan.
"We had been working on our offense during the preseason, but before this tournament, we worked on playing defense against players that can score," Coach Jeff Young of Chaminade said. "We challenged some of our kids and they responded."
Riordan standout Ed Washington, guarded by Chris Canoles for most of the night, scored only 11 points.
The Eagles (10-2), ranked No. 4 in the region by The Times, used both luck and skill to win their tournament, the fourth time they have won it in five years.
In a semifinal victory over Bellflower, Cayce Cook made two free throws with 1.9 seconds left to help the Eagles win, 53-52, after they nearly blew a 12-point halftime lead.
Skill played more of a factor Wednesday.
Chaminade center Scott Borchart, who sustained a concussion just a few days ago in a first-round victory over Monroe, seemed healthy as can be, scoring 18 points.
Borchart was selected the tournament most valuable player for the second year in a row.
Riordan (9-3) stayed close in the first half and trailed at halftime, 20-16, thanks primarily to reserve guard Isaac Muwaswes, who made three three-pointers and scored nine of the Crusaders' 10 second-quarter points.
Chaminade began to pound away, and pull away, in the third quarter.
The Eagles converted on two three-point plays in the first three minutes, with Borchart and Chris Canoles each scoring down low and making a free throw.
Then the defense took over.
Chaminade forced eight third-quarter turnovers, outscored Riordan, 15-2, and held the Crusaders to one-of-10 shooting in the quarter.