July 13, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Woodbridge battles back to defeat Northwood in second round of PCL tourney

From left, Jaiden Sabino, JC Schindler, Jason Briggs and Stephen Lamp led Woodbridge to a win Thursday. (Photo: Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone).

Woodbridge High School’s boys basketball team has reached the finals of the Pacific Coast League post-season tournament Friday night vs. top-seeded Sage Hill at Portola.

Sage Hill defeated Beckman 47-46 to advance to the title game at 7:30 p.m.

Third-seeded Woodbridge battled back from a seven point halftime deficit to defeat Northwood 68-54 in the second round Thursday night at Northwood. It was Woodbridge’s second straight win in the tournament.

“Our guys just locked in and played defense, it all started on the defensive end,” said Woodbridge Coach Steve Scoggin. “We started moving the ball, their whole game plan was to frustrate JC (Schindler) and get up into him and he just kept moving and kept playing and things just worked out.

“Sophomore Jaiden (Sabino) came up huge in the second half. He comes up in big games, he got a cramp at the end but JC ended up finishing it off.”

Sabino was the game-high scorer with 20 points. Stephen Lamp had 18 points, Jason Briggs 11 points and Schindler eight points for the Warriors.

The Warriors (17-9, 6-3) turn the game around in the third quarter with a 20-0 run and outscored Northwood 21-5 in the stanza to take control of the game.

“In the first half, we were down by seven and the only way to get our spirit back up and come back in this game was energy, so I was trying to be that leader: defense, defense, defense, that’s going to win games,” Sabino said.

“Offense is going to come, once we start locking up on defense and getting stops, that fueled our offense and helped turned this game around.

“I was always talking on defense, loudest guy on the court, that’s my job as point guard and team leader.”

Northwood (20-7, 7-2) was led by Ryan Abaye who had 15 points and four assists. Zaid Yunis and Justin Liu scored 12 points each and TJ Navarro nine points for the Timberwolves. Liu also had six rebounds.

“Tough loss,” said Northwood Coach Christian Manalo. “Obviously we knew what was at stake and we fell short. We’re gonna look back at that third quarter and know we didn’t play our brand of basketball and move on and make adjustments.

“We have bigger goals as we know our season is not over so we’ll regroup and focus on tomorrow’s game (vs. Beckman) because we’re in for another dogfight.”

Northwood and Beckman will play at 6 p.m. at Portola.

The final standings will be based on the first round of league play and the tournament. There are four games Friday at Portola beginning at 4:30 p.m.

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