May 23, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

PHOTOS: Troy advances to semifinals of Covina Tourney with triple OT win over Walnut

12/27/19: Troy coach Scott Blake instructs his athletes during a timeout in the third overtime of the Warriors' win over Walnut. (Photo courtesy Jim McCormack for OC Sports Zone).

Troy coach Scott Blake instructs his players during a timeout in the third overtime of the Warriors’ win over Walnut. (Photos courtesy Jim McCormack for OC Sports Zone)

A Troy High boys basketball team that has had trouble finishing games this season had a finish Friday night that eased some of that frustration.

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

In a game that was dramatic not only in the fourth quarter but through three overtimes, the Warriors edged Walnut 83-78 to advance to the semifinals of the 66th annual Covina Christmas Tournament.

The Warriors will play La Mirada, a 58-54 winner over Valley View, in a semifinal game at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28 at Covina High. Saturday’s semifinal victors play Monday night for the title in one of Southern California’s longest-running high school basketball tournaments.

Understandably, Troy coach Scott Blake was happy with his team’s effort Friday night.

“We’ve had a tough time closing out games this year so this was a big win for us,” Blake said.

There were two crucial elements to the Warriors’ seventh win in 13 games this season … Walnut missed three of four free throws in the last minute of the second overtime and Troy guard Rhels Chang just wouldn’t be denied.

The Walnut misses at the free throw line meant Troy trailed by only two when Chang made a score-tying, well-defended, lay-in with less than a second to play to force a third extra session.

Chang started the third overtime with a 3-point basket and then wrapped things up with four free throws in the final 30 seconds after Justin Truillo’s lay-in with a minute to play gave Troy the lead for good, 79-78.

“Rhels did what you want a player like him to do,” Blake said. “ He is a senior, a three-year starter and a captain.”

 Kyle Phan had a game-high 21 points to lead Troy, followed by Chang (17), Truillo (14) and Xlon Ward (12).

—Courtesy Jim McCormack, For OC Sports Zone