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Prep Boys Basketball Playoffs: Silverado shocks No. 3 Centennial/Corona
Hawks headed to quarterfinals
CORONA • To say the Silverado boys basketball team was an underdog going into its CIF-Southern Section Division 1AA second round playoff game against Centennial/Corona is an understatement.
The Huskies were seeded third in the playoff brackets and were ranked seventh in the state and 47th in the nation by MaxPreps. They hadn’t lost a home game this season and boasted a Division I player in UC Riverside-bound Sam Finley and one of the top sophomores in the nation in Sedrick Barefield, who has scholarship offers from UConn and Boston College, among others.
Oh, and Centennial had already pounded the 14th-ranked Hawks 80-46 back on Dec. 15.
With all that stacked against them, Silverado went down and pulled off a stunning 77-75 upset to record arguably the biggest win in school history.
“It was just a huge win for us,” Hawks coach David Brannon said. “We’ve been talking about this for quite awhile now. If we play hard for 32 minutes and play as hard as we can, we can play with most teams in the nation, we really believe that.”
Silverado was 10 of 18 from 3-point range. Mateo Jones scored 21 points and shot 50 percent from the field, Kristian Keys also scored 21 points and shot 50 percent, and D.J. Sylvester added 14 points and seven assists and shot 55 percent.
The Hawks led by 10 at halftime and by 11 at the end of the third quarter. The Huskies staged a furious rally in the fourth and took their first lead of the game with 2:18 remaining and led 75-72 with 1:18 remaining.
“Centennial went into full court pressure and we made some mistakes because we were tired,” Brannon said.
Gerardo Muro hit the game-tying 3-pointer for the Hawks from the corner with 48 seconds left.
Silverado got a stop on Centennial’s next possession, and Kristian Keys drove coast-to-coast for the game-winning layup with 12.5 seconds remaining. The Hawks got another defensive stop and Keys drew a foul. He missed his free throw, but all the Huskies could manage was a half-court heave that fell well short as time expired.
Daveone Ambers played a big role with 13 rebounds and six blocks, Robert Evans pulled down seven rebounds and Darien Saxton dished out five assists.
Barefield led the Huskies with a game-high 22 points.
Brannon said he thought Centennial took Silverado lightly in part because of their meeting earlier this season.
“We’re a different team than we were back then,” he said. “We had some issues going into that game. We weren’t ready to take them on because of what happened the night before (in a loss to Rancho Cucamonga). They saw us at our lowest point. We are a different team now.”
The Hawks have another tough battle ahead of them. They will travel to No. 6 Etiwanda on Friday.
“Our motto has been never too high never too low,” Brannon said. “We are definitely celebrating this win tonight, but we are setting our sights on Etiwanda.”
Jones 21, Keys 21, Sylvester 14, Muro 6, Saxton 6, Ambers 5, Evans 4.
Barefield 22, North 18, Finley 15, Wurffell 8, Famous 5, Hamilton 5, Smith 2.
Silverado 19 18 22 18 — 77
Centennial 16 11 21 27 — 75
3-point field goals — Silverado 10 (Jones 5, Muro 2, Saxton 2, Ambers); Centennial 4 (Barefield 2, Wurffell 2).
Kyle Glaser can be reached at email@example.com or at (760) 951-6274.