Sierra Canyon boys basketball tops St. Pius X-St. Matthias in potential Open Division matchup

St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy #5 Tyrone Riley dunks while Sierra Canyon #1 Justin Pippen looks on. St. Pius X played Sierra Canyon in a non-league game on Jan.6, 2024 in Cerritos, CA. (Photo by John McCoy, Contributing Photographer)

Sierra Canyon #22 Jayden Alexander guards St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy #3 Tariq Bridges. St. Pius X played Sierra Canyon in a non-league game on Jan.6, 2024 in Cerritos, CA. (Photo by John McCoy, Contributing Photographer)

St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy #0 David Mack goes to the hoop against Sierra Canyon ##11 Noah Williams and Sierra Canyon #10 Bryce James. St. Pius X played Sierra Canyon in a non-league game on Jan.6, 2024 in Cerritos, CA. (Photo by John McCoy, Contributing Photographer)

St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy #2 Tylon Williams lays up the ball while Sierra Canyon #12 Bryce Cofield looks. St. Pius X played Sierra Canyon in a non-league game on Jan.6, 2024 in Cerritos, CA. (Photo by John McCoy, Contributing Photographer)

St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy #0 David Mack gets past Sierra Canyon #22 Jayden Alexander. St. Pius X played Sierra Canyon in a non-league game on Jan.6, 2024 in Cerritos, CA. (Photo by John McCoy, Contributing Photographer)

Sierra Canyon #12 Bryce Cofield dunks the ball over St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy #2 Tylon Williams. St. Pius X played Sierra Canyon in a non-league game on Jan.6, 2024 in Cerritos, CA. (Photo by John McCoy, Contributing Photographer)

St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy #24 Douglas Langford swats the ball away from Sierra Canyon #12 Bryce Cofield. St. Pius X played Sierra Canyon in a non-league game on Jan.6, 2024 in Cerritos, CA. (Photo by John McCoy, Contributing Photographer)

St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy #24 Douglas Langford blocks a shot by Sierra Canyon #22 Jayden Alexander. St. Pius X played Sierra Canyon in a non-league game on Jan.6, 2024 in Cerritos, CA. (Photo by John McCoy, Contributing Photographer)

Sierra Canyon #1 Justin Pippen drives around St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy #4 Dayvon Gates. St. Pius X played Sierra Canyon in a non-league game on Jan.6, 2024 in Cerritos, CA. (Photo by John McCoy, Contributing Photographer)

St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy #3 Tariq Bridges causes Sierra Canyon #12 Bryce Cofield to turn over the ball. St. Pius X played Sierra Canyon in a non-league game on Jan.6, 2024 in Cerritos, CA. (Photo by John McCoy, Contributing Photographer)

St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy #3 Tariq Bridges passes the ball around Sierra Canyon #11 Noah Williams. St. Pius X played Sierra Canyon in a non-league game on Jan.6, 2024 in Cerritos, CA. (Photo by John McCoy, Contributing Photographer)

St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy #24 Douglas Langford foils Sierra Canyon #12 Bryce Cofield. St. Pius X played Sierra Canyon in a non-league game on Jan.6, 2024 in Cerritos, CA. (Photo by John McCoy, Contributing Photographer)

Sierra Canyon #2 Isaiah Elohim and Sierra Canyon #1 Justin Pippen guard St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy #0 David Mack. St. Pius X played Sierra Canyon in a non-league game on Jan.6, 2024 in Cerritos, CA. (Photo by John McCoy, Contributing Photographer)

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NORWALK — Saturday’s featured basketball game in the Rodney Guillory Elite Invitational between Sierra Canyon and St. Pius X-St. Matthias saw a struggle between an open-division mainstay and an up-and-comer making a name for itself.

In front of Los Angeles Laker LeBron James – watching son Bryce play for Sierra Canyon – Open division contender Sierra Canyon defeated St. Pius X-St. Mattias 51-42 at Cerritos College.

LeBron just living the dad life. Driving all across LA to watch his kids play basketball. pic.twitter.com/e9LuaV8vCD

— Anthony Ciardelli (@Dellitweets) January 7, 2024

Sierra Canyon junior guard Bryce Cofield led all scorers with 18 points, along with eight rebounds and three steals. Senior forward Noah Williams had 10 points, five rebounds and a steal for the Trailblazers.

St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy (PMA), who won the CIF Southern-Section Division 3AA title last season, suffered its third single-digit loss to a reigning Open Division team.

PMA coach Donte Archie thought his team fought hard despite the team’s best player, Tyrone Riley, fouling out in the third quarter.

“I thought we played great,” Archie said. “I thought we played hard. We met the challenge. Things happen in games but that’s nothing to complain about. They beat us (Saturday). I’m looking forward to seeing them later down the road.”

Senior guard David Mack led PMA with 17 points. Senior guard Tyrone Riley and junior forward Douglas Langford each had seven points. Langford also led the game with 10 rebounds, adding two steals and three blocks.

Mack said he believes PMA (12-4, 2-0) can compete against Open Division teams.

“I know for sure we can,” Mack said. “We are just working out a couple of things, and I know when it’s time, we are going to step up and be ready, and we aren’t going to back down.”

Sierra Canyon (17-1, 1-0) built an early 5-0 lead on a layup from senior guard Justin Pippen, Basketball Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen’s son, and a 3-pointer from junior guard Jayden Alexander.

PMA gained the lead 7-6 with 2:33 left in the first quarter thanks to baskets from Riley, Langford and senior guard Tylon Williams. Sierra Canyon regained the lead heading into the second quarter on a layup from senior guard Isaiah Elohim and two free throws from Williams.

PMA gained its largest in the second quarter, 20-17, on baskets from Riley and senior guard Dayvon Gates and a 3-pointer from Langford. At 20-19, the momentum shifted on a steal and dunk from Cofield to give Sierra Canyon its lead back, 21-20.

After a second-quarter foul called on the Warriors, Archie assessed a technical foul for arguing with the referees.

Sierra Canyon used that, and another foul called shortly after that, to build a five-point lead.

PMA narrowed the Sierra Canyon lead to 25-24 on a layup by Gates before Cofield converted a rebound to put the Trailblazers up 27-24 at the half.

The battle for momentum turned in the third quarter. First, Mack connected on a step-back 3-pointer to tie the game, but Cofield put Sierra Canyon back up by two. Then a Riley dunk tied the game back at 29 before Cofield returned with his own dunk to give the Trailblazers a 31-29 lead.

Riley fouled out of the game with 2:48 left in the third quarter, forcing PMA to play without its best player.

Archie wasn’t pleased.

“I think him fouling out was bogus,” Archie said. “I thought a lot of the calls on him were bogus, but I’m not one to complain. They beat us and we just have to get back to the drawing board and figure it out.”

After PMA narrowed the Sierra Canyon lead to 37-33 on a Tylon Williams steal and layup, a Bryce James rebound and two made free throws from Cofield put Sierra Canyon up 41-33.

Sierra Canyon pulled away in the final quarter, as Williams’ five fourth-quarter points helped the Trailblazers to maintain their lead and secure the 51-42 victory.

PMA coach @DONTE_ARCHIE speaks pregame about the importance of this game vs. Sierra Canyon, an open division playoff team last season (16-1 this season). I also asked him if the team spoke about the potential of LeBron coming to watch his son Bryce (who plays for Sierra Canyon). pic.twitter.com/DlDTUMOkdY

— Anthony Ciardelli (@Dellitweets) January 7, 2024

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