June 15, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Godinez finishes strong against Katella to remain undefeated atop league standings

Godinez Coach Robert Morgan talks to his players during a timeout Friday night. (Photo: Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone).

Godinez High School’s boys basketball team held off an upset bid from Katella Friday night to capture a 60-47 home win to remain atop the Golden West League standings with a 4-0 record.

Katella jumped out to an 8-2 lead but Godinez (16-6 overall) held a six-point lead at halftime before extending its lead to 40-31 after three quarters.

Katella (6-13, 1-4) made one last run, cutting the lead back to nine points late in the game before Godinez sealed the win on a basket by Ma’Gen Young which extended the lead to 53-42 with 1:30 left.

“We survived another battle,” said Godinez Coach Robert Morgan. “I think as we go through every game in league, our target gets bigger on our back and everybody wants to take us out and I think that’s just part of league basketball and our league is competitive.

“No matter the records, I think anybody can beat anybody. Lucas (Andaluz) handled a lot of good stuff at the end and we had a lot of subs who stepped up and played well tonight so I was really happy about that. They’re some strong guys and I think they actually beat us on the rebounding which is the thing we had a big talk about in the locker-room because I don’t think we put enough effort into the rebounding.”

Godinez returning players, including Andaluz, who led his team, with 21 points, 17 coming in the second half, had a little extra motivation.

“The last time we played them (last year) was a play-off play-in game and we ended up losing to them, so we wanted to come with a lot of energy and kind of avenge that loss so I felt this game was very special for us,” said Andaluz.

Godinez outscored Katella 20-16 in the final quarter to hold off Katella’s upset bid.

“We played with more confidence and played together as a team and not individual shooting, we passed the ball more,” Andaluz said. “It feels amazing being where I’ve been for the last two or three years with this team, it feels really good.”

Jaiden Torres, a 6-5 sophomore, added 12 points for the Grizzlies.

“He had a real big game for us, he just continues to get better every single game, he’s fantastic,” Morgan said.

Young added nine points, all in the final quarter including a dunk in the final seconds. Bryan Huirache added eight points for Godinez.

Katella was led by Curtis Dillon, who had 13 points and Joseph Damian 12 points.

“We got a young bunch, we just played as hard as we could, we just had some costly mistakes at the wrong time,” said Katella Coach Carlo Davis. “We had a bit of a size difference, but we did the best we can and I’m proud of my boys for fighting. Dillon Curtis, he’s a junior, he played well for us and he controlled the tempo for us and kind of kept everything in order.

“Even though we didn’t come away with the victory, I’m still proud of my boys, they played hard.”

Both teams battled hard throughout the game but there didn’t appear to be any bad feelings.

However, with about a minute left, a skirmish took place between Katella junior Jace Aikins and Torres of Godinez as the two were battling for a rebound. It was quickly broken up and no other players were involved. Both players were ejected and will have to sit out one game, according to Morgan, the Godinez coach.

Godinez coaches and players addressed the matter in the locker-room after the game and noted it was a “bonding moment” for the players, Morgan added.

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