June 25, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

PHOTOS: Exciting second game of Santa Ana Prep Classic decided by late 3-pointer

Home team’s Jack Rivera of Santa Ana comes up with a loose ball and drives to the lane as away team players Lucas Andaluz of Godinez and Zeze Dale of Century defend during the second quarter. (Photos: Fernando M. Donado, For OC Sports Zone).

It was a thrilling finish Friday night to the third annual Santa Ana Prep Basketball Classic at Godinez High School, presented by the Raya Foundation.

The fans were buzzing after the home team defeated the away team 70-67 in the boys game. In the game last year, the squads ended in a 65-65 tie.

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

Issac Camarena from Segerstrom had the game-winning three pointer with under 10 seconds left for the home team. The away team battled back from an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter with a furious rally in the fourth quarter.

Israel Moreno from Godinez sank a 3-pointer, was fouled and made a free throw with 24 seconds left to tie the game 67-67. Then, the home team worked the ball to Camarena for the decisive bucket.

“It felt good, I want to give a shoutout to my boy Jack (Rivera) for trusting me in that last shot and the whole game, for him to pass up that last shot was pretty great to be honest,” said Camarena, who had 14 points. “They made a big comeback, honestly I was scared, it was a back and forth game, it was a pretty good all-star game.”

Rivera, who had a stand-out career with Santa Ana, led the home team with a game high 29 points. He was relieved the home team could hang on for the win.

“We let them go on a run,” said Rivera. “We kept our composure, we didn’t get all emotional and we just played basketball and that was the story of the game.”

In the frantic final seconds, Rivera said the best option was to pass to Camarena.

“It’s common sense, you get doubled teamed and you get it to the open guy, I trusted him to knock it down, that was huge,” he said.

Godinez standout Lucas Andaluz was hoping to cap a memorable senior year with a victory and did his part, leading the away team with 23 points (seven in the final quarter) and seven 3-pointers. He was one of the key players on the Godinez team that won the league title and advanced to the quarterfinal round of the CIF 5AA playoffs before losing to Castaic.

A bit disappointed with the result, Andaluz said he was excited to compete with other players from Santa Ana, some he exchanged jerseys with after the game.

“It was just a fun game, we had jokes out there, but we love the competitiveness, we still want to beat each other, that’s what made this game so fun, the ending was a thrill, it was a heck of a game, I’m just so proud of everyone and came out and played and showed up,” he said. “We love the support, we should have more fans next year, we love Santa Ana over here.”

The away team held a 36-32 lead at halftime before the home team took the lead in the second half.

But the away team remained determined, Andaluz said, and was able to rally in the final minutes.

“We really wanted it, it was very competitive,” he said. “A lot of these players I’ve been playing with since I was young and it’s just amazing how far we’ve come and making it to the all-star game. It was super fun.”

Zeze Dale from Century had 11 points for the away team. Adrian Gonzalez of Godinez added eight points for the away team.

Event organizer Leon Raya, president of the Raya Foundation estimated attendance for the event at 500. There were also halftime shootouts for prizes.

RELATED

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