June 15, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

PHOTOS: Marina survives late comeback to earn berth in CIF championship game

Marina players and fans celebrate Saturday’s semifinal victory. (Photos courtesy Mark Bausman, For OC Sports Zone).

By ALEX SUAREZ

For OC Sports Zone

Marina High School’s boys basketball held on late to defeat San Gabriel Academy 63-58 in a CIF 2A semifinal game Saturday night at Marina.

The Vikings are returning to the CIF finals for the first time since 2021 and will look to become the first team in school history to win in the basketball finals. They will face Long Beach Poly next weekend.

Days and locations will be announced Monday by the CIF.

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

Barak Simon scored 22 points and made three 3-pointers to lead Marina. Mark Yeager had 16 points and Dylan Gomez added 13 points for Marina (25-7). Samuila Kossi had 14 points to lead San Gabriel Academy. 

“Good thing we had a big lead at halftime,” said Marina Coach Nick Racklin. “It’s hard for teenagers to hold a lead because now they’re trying not to lose as opposed to trying to win more. Marina’s never won a CIF championship so that’s what we’re after.”

The Vikings led 40-19 at halftime, making seven 3-pointers as a team. Marina outscored the Eagles by 13 points in the second quarter. Simon led the Vikings with eight points in the second quarter. 

San Gabriel Academy got within three points late in the fourth quarter, but Simon was able to ice the game hitting two late free throws.

“We played great as a team,” Simon said. “This has happened before, we just got to keep pushing and attacking to get the win. Long Beach Poly is gonna be tough but I think we can get it done.” 

Both teams are headed to the CIF Southern California Regionals which begin the week after the CIF finals.