Sierra Canyon basketball holds off St. John Bosco in CIF-SS Open Division playoff thriller

Sierra Canyon players celebrate after defeating St. John Bosco in the opening game of the CIF-SS Boys Basketball Open Division Playoffs on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, at St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower. (Photo by Howard Freshman, Contributing Photographer)

Referees separate players late in the 3rd quarter after play got physical between Sierra Canyon and St. John Bosco in the opening game of the CIF-SS Boys Basketball Open Division Playoffs on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, at St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower. (Photo by Howard Freshman, Contributing Photographer)

Sierra Canyon senior guard Justin Pippen dunks the ball during the Trailblazers’ 72-67 win over St. John Bosco in the opening game of the CIF-SS Boys Basketball Open Division Playoffs on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, at St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower. (Photo by Howard Freshman, Contributing Photographer)

St. John Bosco junior guard Elzie Harrington is fouled from behind by Sierra Canyon junior forward Bryce James in the opening game of the CIF-SS Boys Basketball Open Division Playoffs on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, at St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower. (Photo by Howard Freshman, Contributing Photographer)

St. John Bosco junior guard Elzie Harrington pulls up for a jumper against Sierra Canyon in the opening game of the CIF-SS Boys Basketball Open Division Playoffs on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, at St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower. (Photo by Howard Freshman, Contributing Photographer)

Sierra Canyon senior guard Justin Pippen tries to get past St. John Bosco’s junior guard Elzie Harrington in the opening game of the CIF-SS Boys Basketball Open Division Playoffs on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, at St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower. (Photo by Howard Freshman, Contributing Photographer)

Sierra Canyon’s Isaiah Elohim goes up for a rebound during the Trailblazers’ 72-67 win over St. John Bosco in the opening game of the CIF-SS Boys Basketball Open Division Playoffs on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, at St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower. (Photo by Howard Freshman, Contributing Photographer)

Sierra Canyon’s Noah Williams visits the free throw line during his team’s 72-67 win over St. John Bosco in the opening game of the CIF-SS Boys Basketball Open Division Playoffs on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, at St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower. (Photo by Howard Freshman, Contributing Photographer)

Sierra Canyon’s Isaiah Elohim scores a basket during the Trailblazers’ 72-67 win over St. John Bosco in the opening game of the CIF-SS Boys Basketball Open Division Playoffs on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, at St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower. (Photo by Howard Freshman, Contributing Photographer)

St. John Bosco sophomore guard Brandon McCoy Jr. (0) blocks a Sierra Canyon shot in the opening game of the CIF-SS Boys Basketball Open Division Playoffs on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, at St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower. (Photo by Howard Freshman, Contributing Photographer)

St. John Bosco’s junior forward Kade Bonam reacts in the opening game of the CIF-SS Boys Basketball Open Division Playoffs against Sierra Canyon on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, at St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower. (Photo by Howard Freshman, Contributing Photographer)

St. John Bosco’s Kade Bonam shoots over Sierra Canyon’s Noah Williams in the opening game of the CIF-SS Boys Basketball Open Division Playoffs on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, at St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower. (Photo by Howard Freshman, Contributing Photographer)

Sierra Canyon junior guard Bryce Cofield helped lead the Trailblazers’ to a 72-67 win over St. John Bosco in the opening game of the CIF-SS Boys Basketball Open Division Playoffs on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, at St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower. (Photo by Howard Freshman, Contributing Photographer)

St. John Bosco senior guard Jack Turner throws up a 3-pointer against Sierra Canyon in the opening game of the CIF-SS Boys Basketball Open Division Playoffs on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, at St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower. (Photo by Howard Freshman, Contributing Photographer)

St. John Bosco’s Dominic Perfetti scores over Sierra Canyon’s Bryce Cofield in the opening game of the CIF-SS Boys Basketball Open Division Playoffs on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, at St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower. (Photo by Howard Freshman, Contributing Photographer)

Sierra Canyon senior guard Justin Pippen helped lead the Trailblazers’ to a 72-67 win over St. John Bosco in the opening game of the CIF-SS Boys Basketball Open Division Playoffs on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, at St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower. (Photo by Howard Freshman, Contributing Photographer)

Sierra Canyon junior guard Bryce Cofield drives for a basket during his team’s 72-67 win over St. John Bosco in the opening game of the CIF-SS Boys Basketball Open Division Playoffs on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, at St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower. (Photo by Howard Freshman, Contributing Photographer)

Sierra Canyon junior forward Bryce James, son of Lakers All-Star LeBron James, taunts the home fans following the Trailblazers’ win in the opening game of the CIF-SS Boys Basketball Open Division Playoffs on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, at St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower. (Photo by Howard Freshman, Contributing Photographer)

of

Expand

BELLFLOWER — Senior forward Noah Williams scored a game-high 23 points, including nine points in the fourth quarter, as Sierra Canyon boys basketball pulled out a 72-67 win at St. John Bosco in the CIF-Southern Section Open Division playoffs Friday night.

“The significance of it was my teammates, they always propel me forward,” said Williams, who signed with Cal State Northridge in December. “If I was slacking, someone else would have stepped up… I think it’s very important that I lead and I lead by example.”

Sierra Canyon senior forward Noah Williams on his game-high 23 points in the Trailblazers’ 72-67 win at St. John Bosco in Game 1 of CIF-SS Open Division Pool A play on Friday Night. pic.twitter.com/USAdGQKoGr

— John W. Davis (@johnwdavis) February 10, 2024

Meanwhile, Trailblazers coach Andre Chevalier said Williams’ senior leadership is always key.

“His leadership is wonderful and he’s going to be the one that leads us to the championship if we make it there,” Chevalier said.

Senior guard Justin Pippen had 20 points and six rebounds as the No. 5 seed Trailblazers improved to 25-2 overall and 1-0 in Pool A play. Junior guard Bryce Cofield had 12 points and seven rebounds. Senior guard Isaiah Elohim had 12 points and five rebounds before being ejected in the third quarter.

“Our team has been working together all year long no matter what,” Chevalier continued. “We’ve had people sit out. Isaiah was injured at the beginning of the year, so we’re used to playing without people, so they just rally and support each other and help each other.”

No. 4 seed St. John Bosco (23-6) was led by sophomore guard Brandon McCoy Jr. with 21 points and five rebounds, who trailed 25-15 at the end of the first quarter and 39-30 at halftime. Senior guard Jack Turner (Loyola signee) had 18 points, including three three-pointers. Junior guard Elzie Harrington had 10 points. Junior forward Kade Bonam had 10 points and four rebounds in his first game back since suffering a shoulder injury on Jan. 6.

“We’ve had the same issue all year long to be honest, until we’re really threatened we don’t do things right and then we fight like crazy to get back into it but when you’re doing that things need to go perfect and it’s hard for things to go perfect against really good teams,” St. John Bosco coach Matt Dunn said. “We’ve had a couple of things we have not been able to fix all year long. Obviously, incredibly disappointing.”

St. John Bosco basketball coach Matt Dunn on his team’s 72-67 loss at home to Sierra Canyon in their CIF Southern Section Open Division playoff opener. @CoachDunn10 said @BoscoBasketball is going to focus on controlling what they can control with two games left in Pool A play. pic.twitter.com/avtrudv2Ct

— John W. Davis (@johnwdavis) February 10, 2024

Sierra Canyon’s Williams scored the first five points of the game. The Trailblazers’ defense employed a full-court press early, which Bosco’s McCoy Jr. broke for two early baskets, including a big slam dunk.

Bosco’s Turner made two early three-pointers, which kept the Braves within striking distance, trailing 14-10 midway through the first quarter.

However, Cofield’s fast break slam dunk put Sierra Canyon up 18-11 late in the first.

Sierra Canyon’s length and athleticism, helped them establish a 25-15 lead heading into the second quarter.

Bosco’s Harrington scored his only first two points of the first half with 5:51 left in the second. Sierra Canyon led 27-21.

The Braves began the second quarter by outscoring Sierra Canyon 10-6, which cut the Trailblazers’ lead to 31-25 with 3:27 left in the first half.

However, Sierra Canyon continued attacking the basket and led 39-30 at halftime. Sierra Canyon’s Pippen and Williams both had 11 points in the first half. Bosco’s McCoy and Turner both had 11 points in the first half.

Halftime: Sierra Canyon 39, St. John Bosco 30.

SC’s Justin Pippen and Noah Williams both have 11 points.

Bosco’s Brandon McCoy Jr. and Jack Turner both have 11 points. pic.twitter.com/8nLKfEyKiT

— John W. Davis (@johnwdavis) February 10, 2024

McCoy’s four-point play in front of Bosco’s bench energized his teammates and cut Sierra Canyon’s lead to 41-36 with 6:36 left in the third quarter. Harrington later made two free throws, which made it 41-38.

However, Sierra Canyon’s Williams knocked down a three-pointer, which gave the Trailblazers are 48-40 lead with 4:07 remaining in the third.

The Braves responded by ramping up their defensive intensity right before an on-court tussle for the ball between Sierra Canyon’s Elohim and Bosco’s Turner, turned into a brief skirmish with 2:43 to go in the third. Elohim was ejected and finished with 12 points.

Referees separate players late in the 3rd quarter after play got physical between Sierra Canyon and St. John Bosco in the opening game of the CIF-SS Boys Basketball Open Division Playoffs on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, at St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower. (Photo by Howard Freshman, Contributing Photographer)

A skirmish in Bellflower at the Sierra Canyon at St. John Bosco game. Benches clears. pic.twitter.com/V1Hp6AXPIh

— John W. Davis (@johnwdavis) February 10, 2024

Bosco cut Sierra Canyon’s lead to 50-47 late in the third, after Turner made four consecutive free-throws.

Sierra Canyon led 55-50 at the end of the third. The Trailblazers started the fourth on a 7-0 run, highlighted by Pippen’s fast-break dunk and led 62-50 before Bosco sophomore forward Dominic Perfetti’s corner three-pointer made it 62-53.

Back-to-back three-pointers by Bosco’s Bonam cut Sierra Canyon’s lead to 65-61 with 3:41 to go, forcing Trailblazers coach Andre Chevalier to call a timeout to try and put a stop to the home team’s momentum.

Williams’ three-point play put Sierra Canyon up 69-62. However, another corner three-pointer from Bosco’s Perfetti in front of the student section made it 69-65 with about two minutes to go.

Harrington’s steal and fast break slam dunk cut Sierra Canyon’s lead to 69-67 with a minute to go.  Bosco had an opportunity to tie or take a lead with less than 30 seconds to go but Bosco was called for an offensive foul before getting into their half-court offense.

“They all have great moments,” Dunn continued. “We just have too many inconsistent moments of doing the right thing.”

Sierra Canyon’s Williams was fouled, which was deemed flagrant with 16.9 seconds to go. He made both free throws. The Trailblazers retained possession up 71-67. Williams was fouled again with 8.8 seconds left. He made one of two free throws to seal the 72-67 victory.

“This is what I work for, the late nights, the early mornings,” Williams said. “I’m always shooting in different spots, getting to my spots and it just showed (Friday). The work is showing and it feels really good to know that.”

“Every Open Division game is a monster so we’re going to take one at a time and see what we can do,” Chevalier added. “We’re excited about it.”

Sierra Canyon boys basketball coach Andre Chevalier on his team’s 72-67 win at St. John Bosco in the CIF Southern Section Open Division playoffs. pic.twitter.com/A9IsgDX1IM

— John W. Davis (@johnwdavis) February 10, 2024

UP NEXT

No. 4 St. John Bosco will host No. 8 Centennial on Tuesday, Feb. 13.

No. 5 Sierra Canyon will play at No. 1 Harvard-Westlake on Tuesday, Feb. 13.

Final: Sierra Canyon 72, St. John Bosco 67 in CIF-SS Open Division playoffs.

Sierra Canyon senior forward Noah Williams finished with a game-high 23 points, including nine points in the fourth quarter.

Bosco sophomore guard Brandon McCoy Jr. finished with team-high 21 points. pic.twitter.com/X8ethRiQxs

— John W. Davis (@johnwdavis) February 10, 2024

Related Articles

High School Sports |


Isaiah Johnson’s early spark propels Campbell Hall basketball past Saugus

High School Sports |


Oak Park boys basketball thrives beyond the arc, but falls to Rolling Hills Prep

High School Sports |


Trinity Classical Academy girls basketball reached Division 2A while playing in a church’s gym

High School Sports |


Long Beach Poly girls basketball runs past Chaminade to advance in CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs

High School Sports |


Oaks Christian basketball routs Canyon for first CIF-SS playoff win since 2018

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *