May 28, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Big third quarter lifts El Dorado to upset road victory over Portola CIF 2A playoff opener

Joshua Park of El Dorado defends against Portola’s Brandon Chang Friday. (Photos: OC Sports Zone, Tim Burt).

El Dorado’s boys basketball team used a big third quarter to overcome a slim Portola halftime lead and held on for a 55-52 victory Friday night over the Bulldogs in the opening round of the CIF 2A playoffs at Portola.

The Golden Hawks, at at-large team from the Crestview League were able to pull off the upset against Portola, the Pacific Coast League champion. The Hawks advance to face Crescenta Valley Tuesday at Joe Raya Gymnasium.

Ty Carlson scored 15 points and Cooper Bladow 13 points to lead the Golden Hawks. Devin Daniel scored 16 points and Colin Huang 10 points to lead Portola (16-8).

To see the slide show, click on the first photo:

Portola led 20-18 at halftime but El Dorado (20-9) took control in the third quarter, outscoring the Bulldogs 18-9 in the third quarter.

“Portola is a really well coached team,” said El Dorado Coach Ryan Mounce. “They’re scrappy, they’re not a league champion for no reason. The 16-point lead really kind of gave us some room and made some shots, we hit six three-balls in the second half and that was a huge difference in them going 1-3-1 against us.”

Junior Seth Scarpulla made two 3-pointers near the end of the quarter to put El Dorado up 36-29 after three quarters.

El Dorado looked like it had sealed the win when it moved out to a 47-31 lead with 4:48 left in the game. But Portola battled back cutting the lead to 52-49 on a 3-pointer by Jayden Villanueva with 12.3 seconds remaining.

The Golden Hawks sealed the win in final seconds with a free throw by Bladow and two by Jacob Kang. Makai Brown hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer for Portola to account for the final margin.

“I have a good group of seniors and some juniors who are really tough,” Mounce said. “They scrap it up, I love them, they’re great kids. They’re all kids from my neighborhood.

“It was a big win for us, especially for our seniors, playing in the league we play in. We went 0-6 and played some really tough games, they never got over the top, but I think our league toughness really helped us out when we played Foothill, Canyon and Villa Park.

“Being battled tested at the end of the day is really what the difference for a lot of teams breaking through and not.”

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