May 22, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

PHOTOS: Pacifica Christian caps showcase with thrilling 69-68 victory over Arbor View

Riyaan Jiwani of Pacifica Christian is congratulated after making the game-winning shot Saturday. (Photos Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone)

Pacifica Christian sophomore Riyaan Jiwani contributed seven points off the bench Saturday night in the BSN Sports Showcase, but he made those points count.

Five of those points were crucial, coming in the final two minutes and they turned out to be the difference. Jiwani helped the Tritons overcome a 6-point deficit to defeat Arbor View 69-68 in a thriller at Pacifica Christian.

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

Jiwani drilled a 3-pointer with 24.7 seconds left to put the Tritons ahead by one and the partisan crowd exploded. Arbor View had one last chance, but the shot fell off the rim and Judah Brown rebounded for Pacifica Christian with 1.1 seconds left.

“I had not made one (a 3-pointer) the whole game until that point so Coach (Jeffrey) Berokoff always tells us to keep our heads up,” said Jiwani. “Shoutout to Houston Mallette, one of the best point guards in the country. He found me on that play and broke down the defense.”

“What a big-time shot, he has all the confidence in the world,” Berokoff said. “Houston made just a beautiful basketball pass to him in a big-time winning play.

“We had to defend a little bit and make sure we took care of the ball. We got a couple steals and good things happen when you play good D.”

Pacifica Christian (13-4) was led by Brown with 16 points, Mallette with 15 points and Josh Sims with 14 points. Donavan Yap scored 26 points and Jaylon Lee 13 points to lead Arbor View of Las Vegas (7-7).

Arbor View was in control early when it moved out to a 22-13 lead, but Pacifica Christian had a strong second quarter, cutting the lead to four at halftime.

Then in the third quarter, the Tritons came all the way back and went ahead 36-33 on Mallette’s 3-pointer with 7:04 remaining in the third quarter.

Pacifica Christian led 51-50 after three, setting the stage for a dramatic and entertaining final quarter in the final game of four held at Pacifica Christian.

“It was a great team win,” Mallette said. “We’ve been having a little bit of issues gelling with guys being out and our chemistry but I think we’re starting to get that back, coming in and playing as hard as we possibly can and playing together as a whole.”

Mallette and a large contingent of Pacifica Christian fans were excited to see Jiwani’s shot go in.

“He’s a shooter, you got to trust in your guys,” Mallette said. “I could have had a lay-up but I saw him in the corner with my peripheral vision and I hit him, I trusted him. It was a lot of fun, it was a great environment and I want to thank everyone for coming out.”

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