July 13, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Beckman gives highly-ranked Nevada team a battle but loses in Tustin Classic

Beckman’s Josh Charette applies defensive pressure as Kin Vong of Damonte Ranch tries to inbound the pass. (Photo: Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone).

Beckman High School’s boys basketball came close to handing Damonte Ranch its first loss of the season Wednesday in the opening round of the Tustin Classic.

But Damonte Ranch (10-0) hit some big shots in the final minutes and captured a 58-56 victory overcoming a four-point halftime deficit.

“That’s a good team, well coached, they’re 10-0 and number two in the state of Nevada,” said Beckman Coach Lucas Armstrong. “You don’t get to 10-0 if you’re not good so I’m extremely proud of the effort we had in the first three quarters, especially Adrian Ibarra, a guy who hasn’t played a lot of minutes all year but we’re banged up.

“Both of our point guards are down with injuries and it’s a next-man up mentality and he carried us today, he really did.”

Ibarra scored 13 points for Beckman (5-8). Qusai Azem scored 17 points to lead Beckman. Caydon Do added 10 points.

Damonte Ranch was led by Jace Anderson, who had 16 points and Jeriah Macias, who scored 15 points.

Beckman led 32-28 at halftime and 44-37 after three quarters. But Damonte Ranch went on a 12-0 run to start the fourth quarter to take the lead.

The Patriots made a late charge and moved ahead 50-49 on a 3-pointer by Ibarra with 2:50 left in the game.

Damonte Ranch responded in the final minute. Anderson scored a basket and converted a free throw to put Damonte Ranch up 56-53 with 27 seconds left. Beckman called timeout to set up a possible tying 3-pointer but the shot fell off the rim and Damonte Ranch rebounded the ball with 1.5 seconds left.

Macias sank two free throws to make it 58-53. Azem sank a 3-pointer near midcourt at the buzzer to account for the final margin.

“Q has made a huge development in the past two months, our starting center went down with a back injury and Q has filled in great, he’s extremely talented and can shoot the three and get some baskets,” Armstrong said.

Armstrong is hopeful the Patriots can finish the tourney with three wins.

“I’m proud of the way we fought,” Armstrong said. “But a loss is a loss, we’ve had five losses by less than three points this year, so our 5-8 record isn’t very good but a possession here or there and it’s a different story, but that’s the way basketball goes.”

Beckman meets Mid Pacific Thursday at 9 a.m.

—Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com