June 25, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Big third quarter lifts Newport Harbor past Sunny Hills for tournament title

Newport Harbor players with the championship trophy following Saturday’s win. (Photos: Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone).

Newport Harbor and Sunny Hills boys basketball teams were locked in a close game Saturday night through the first half in the championship game of the Euclid Extravaganza, a tournament dedicated to the memory of former Loara Coach Ed Prange.

But Newport Harbor, which led by two points at halftime, came out firing in the third quarter, outscoring the Lancers 23-8 and went on to win the title game of the 16-team tournament 76-55 at Garden Grove.

Junior guard Jack Berry, who led the Sailors (7-2) with 32 points and had eight assists, was named the tournament MVP and senior forward Dash Bastedo, who scored 16 points and 15 rebounds was named all-tournament. Cole Leinart added 14 points, 11 coming in the second half.

Berry provided the spark in third quarter with 10 points.

“We came into this game watching film on them so we were pretty ready for it,” Berry said. “They were a good team, they had two pretty good big guys and three great guards but we fought hard. It was pretty close in the first half, second half we kind of took over.

“We had some nice assists and we were playing as a team in the second half and we got a bunch of open shots to help seal the game. That’s (the third quarter) pretty much won us the game, we got a big lead in that quarter).”

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Sunny Hills (7-2) was led by Nathan Sanchez, who had 17 points and Ze Brien Watkins and Raeden Bobadilla who had 10 points each. Justin Shim and Kingsley Ashley represented Sunny Hills on the all-tournament team.

Newport Harbor was able to extend its lead to 72-48 with 3:37 left in the game.

The tournament was played in memory of former Loara coach Ed Prange, who started the tournament years ago. Prange died suddenly on Thanksgiving Day but organizers at Loara and Western opted to continue the event in his honor.

“First off, our thoughts are with the Prange family,” said Newport Harbor Coach Robert Torribio. “Coach Prange was a great coach and a great mentor to me. One of the greatest compliments I think I’ll spend the rest of my career reflecting on was him calling our program a class program last year.

“That, coming from a guy like him who has done it right for so many years, it meant a lot and our thoughts are with him and kudos and props and all the thanks to Loara and Garden Grove going on with the tournament and Coach Prange would be very proud of the way Loara and Garden Grove did a great job of running a tournament for as long as we’ve been in charge at Newport Harbor.

“He had a big influence on me, we got text messages last season when Loara was making their unexpected run in the playoffs and the Sailors happened to make an unexpected run last year and he texted that who would have thought the Saxons and Sailors would still be playing this time of the year.”

Torribio was pleased with the effort of his squad.

“Very proud of our guys, a couple different starting lineups throughout the week like everybody else with pre-season early things with bumps and sicknesses but I really got to give our guys credit for their effort all week, regardless of what was going on with our team and our bumps and bruises,” he said.

“Jack and Dash are two returning starters for us and they showed it all week. Jack and Dash are really good kids and really good basketball players and we expect a lot out of them and we got a lot out of them this week.”

Torribio also noted the play of Leinart, who transferred to Newport Harbor.

“Cole Leinart, heckuva athlete obviously, good basketball player, made some big shots for us and you get that football mentality on the basketball court and it’s a nice weapon to have that physicality,” the coach said.

Sunny Hills Coach Joe Ok accepted the runner-up trophy on behalf of his team.

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