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Prep Boys Basketball Playoffs: Hawks' run stops in quarterfinals
RANCHO CUCAMONGA • Silverado didn’t have another shocker this time.
Etiwanda ended the Hawks’ season with a 43-28 loss in the CIF-Southern Section Division 1AA boys basketball quarterfinals Friday night. The Eagles advance to the semifinals against Long Beach Poly, which beat Loyola 75-69.
After beating Centennial/Corona in the second round, Silverado faltered against the Eagles and played a large chunk of the second half without leading scorer Mateo Jones, who left midway through the third quarter after taking a hit to the head.
The only shocker Silverado pulled Friday was just how quickly it’s offense fell.
The Hawks couldn’t hit shots and had plenty of problems holding on to the ball. They shot just 10 of 46 from the field and were 2 of 17 from beyond the arc. They struggled to find any room inside for easy baskets.
“Turnovers and just not running our offense the way we need to run it,” said Silverado coach David Brannon of the Hawks’ offensive struggles. “Forcing some stuff. Some kids just trying to do a little too much at moments.”
They turned the ball over 17 times and had just four assists for the night.
The Hawks, who averaged 66.2 points per game this season and led Division 1AA in playoff scoring through the first two rounds, didn’t score more than nine points in any quarter.
Neither team shot the ball particularly well, but Etiwanda (25-2) was able to muscle inside often enough to start distancing itself late in the second quarter.
The teams were tied at 8 after the first quarter.
Silverado (23-6) took a 15-14 lead when Kristian Keys, who led the Hawks with 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds, scored after Tim Myles was called for goaltending with less than four minutes left in the second quarter. It marked the last time the Hawks led in the game.
Etiwanda’s Kenny Branes tied the game at 15 and the Eagles went on to score the final 10 points of the quarter to take a 24-15 lead into halftime.
“We just kept changing our offenses against their zone because their zone is so good and they are athletic and long armed and everything,” said Etiwanda junior guard Jordan McLaughlin, who finished with a game-high 16 points. “We just tried to run different zones to see fwhich one worked the best.”
The Hawks stayed in striking range, but couldn’t rally after losing Jones late.
Jones, who finished the game with five points, was hit away from action with 2:45 left in the third quarter. He went to the floor writhing in pain while play continued. He stayed there for a few more minutes after play was stopped.
“To lose him for that long of the second half … he’s a big-time ball handler and player on this team,” Brannon said. “He’s really important. That just kind of made it a little bit tougher to try to climb back in.”
Jones stayed on the bench until he was taken away on a stretcher midway through the fourth.
Brannon said he experienced concussion symptoms and was taken to the hospital.
“We’re good friends,” McLaughlin said. “I train with him on Sunday’s and stuff. I hope he feels all right.”
All the troubles the Hawks had offensively overshadowed a stellar defensive night.
Brannon credited his defense for holding Etiwanda to 43 points and keeping Silverado in the game. It was the offense that stalled Friday night.
“To hold a team like that to that low scoring throughout the game until right at the end there, I was proud of our defensive effort,” Brannon said. “It was exactly the way we wanted to do it. Unfortunately we just didn’t put enough points on the board.”
Keys 11, Sylvester 8, Jones 5, Evans 2, Saxton 2.
McLaughlin 16, Blackwell 9, Barnes 7, Myles 6, Adigwu 4, Johnson 1.
Silverado 8 7 6 7 — 28
Etiwanda 8 16 8 11 — 43
3-point field goals — Silverado 2 (Jones, Sylvester); Etiwanda 2 (McLaughlin).
Matthew Peters can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (760) 955-5365.