June 25, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Foothill boys basketball team continues to make strides with two key road victories

Foothill players get ready to take on Tustin Friday night. (Photo: Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone).

Foothill High School’s boys basketball coach Yousof Etemadi continues to see progress as his team goes through a challenging non-league schedule.

The Knights continued to move forward with two road victories, a 53-52 win over highly ranked Rancho Cucamonga (No. 24 in Southern California by the LA Times) Tuesday night and a 42-31 win over Tustin Friday night.

“We have a lot of young guys and I think it’s good for them to play in these kind of games,” Etemadi said after Friday’s win. “They’ve played in a lot of big games and they’re getting better and better and I’m proud of them.

“We played Rancho Cucamonga at their place and that was a tough game. All we’re trying to do is get better and better every week by the time league starts.”

The Knights (8-4) were tested against a determined Tustin team which took the lead early Friday night. Isaiah Bernard, who had 11 points and eight rebounds; Travis Paleo, who had 10 points; Danny Kennard, who had nine points and eight rebounds and Jordan Martin, who had seven points led the Knights, who moved up to No. 9 in this week’s OC Varsity top 10 county poll.

“We made some big plays late in the game and made a couple big shots, Travis (Paleo) was good down the stretch and made some shots for us and we made some free throws down the stretch,” Etemadi said. “Danny (Kennard) was struggling early in the game and kind of opened up.”

The non-league schedule won’t get much easier for Foothill as it moves into the prestigious Damien Classic at the end of the month.

“I think we’re getting better each game,” Paleo said. “I think as the year goes on, we will continue to get better and I think we could make a run in the playoffs.”

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