June 15, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

PHOTOS: Strong second half powers Woodbridge past El Dorado in second round playoff

JC Schindler of Woodbridge lays up the ball as Noah Barker of El Dorado defends. (Photos courtesy Mark Bausman, For OC Sports Zone).

After a subpar first half, the Woodbridge High boys basketball team exploded in the second half and came away with a convincing 55-39 victory over El Dorado in a CIF Division 3A second round playoff game Friday night at Woodbridge.

JC Schindler led the charge for the Warriors. The senior guard scored a game-high 21 points and was a force defensively helping Woodbridge defeat the Golden Hawks for the second time this season.

“In the first half we were rushing our shots and we weren’t making them,” said Schindler, who drilled three 3-pointers. “But in the second half we started making shots and we were hustling. We left it all on the floor. We weren’t selfish and our energy level was high. It’s the first time Woodbridge has gone to the quarterfinals since 2006 and we don’t want our season to end.”

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

The Warriors (20-9) have won five consecutive games and advance to the quarterfinals to face North Torrance Tuesday in Torrance. North Torrance defeated Blair 75-73 Friday night.

Woodbridge also got superb efforts from Jason Briggs, Jaiden Sabino, Stephen Lamp and Brian Le. Lamp and Sabino scored 12 points each and Briggs added 10 points. Le gave the Warriors a huge boost on the glass.

Trailing 18-15 at halftime, Woodbridge got right to work as the third quarter started. Lamp nailed a 3-pointer in the opening seconds of the period to tie the score at 18-18. Schindler then added two baskets to give the Warriors a 22-19 lead, a lead they never relinquished.

“I took my two seniors aside (Schlindler and Lamp) at the beginning of the third quarter and asked them, do you want this to be your last game?” said Warriors Coach Steve Scoggin. “And they both responded that they didn’t want their season to end. JC is the heart and soul of our team and Lamp has turned his game up a notch. Our defense played locked down in the second half.”

Lamp, Schindler, Sabino, Le and Briggs dominated in the third quarter as the Warriors outscored the Golden Hawks 22-9 and led 37-27 after three periods. The trio of Schindler, Lamp and Briggs combined to score 20 of Woodbridge’s 22 points in the quarter.

“We came out aggressive and on fire and battled in the second half,” said Briggs, who along with Le and Sabino dominated the boards in the second half.”

“We weren’t moving the ball that well in the first half and we were lazy,” said Lamp, who drilled two big 3-pointers in the second half to foil El Dorado’s comeback attempts. “We didn’t want it to be our last game and that motivated us. Now, we have to keep it going.”

Woodbridge surged to an 11-3 run to start the fourth quarter and never let up. Lamp, Schindler and Sabino each hit a 3-pointer and Schindler added a basket as the Warriors built a 48-30 lead at the 4:24 mark of the final quarter and cruised to the win. 

Noah Barker scored 11 points and Andrew Salvador added 10 points to lead El Dorado (19-11).

Golden Hawks Coach Ryan Mounce remained upbeat.

“When you have the two best players on the floor (Schindler and Lamp) it’s tough to beat that,” Mounce said. “I give Woodbridge a lot of credit. We didn’t make shots in the second half and I probably didn’t make enough adjustments at halftime. But we had a great season. We won league and we have seven seniors who are going to graduate and be outstanding citizens. We have a lot of guys coming back next season who will have a big impact on our program. It was a good year.”

Both teams shot poorly in the first half as neither squad was able to convert a basket in consecutive possessions in the opening 16 minutes. El Dorado held a 9-6 lead after the first quarter. Schindler’s 3-pointer at the buzzer cut the Golden Hawks lead to 18-15 at the half.

—Tom Connolly, For OC Sports Zone