Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Paek helps Lancers edge Highlanders

LA HABRA—A final second three-point play by Sunny Hills senior guard John Paek capped off a late game winning run by Sunny Hills to beat La Habra 56-53.

The Freeway league game was a close contest from the start.

Through four points each from seniors Luke Ross and Sam Barrera, the Lancers took an 8-4 lead nearly halfway into the first quarter, but the Highlanders responded.

La Habra senior Devin Howlin scored five straight points to power a 5-0 run that put the Highlanders up by one.

The lead changed once again after Sunny Hills senior Ryan Shaw converted two free throws to make it 10-9.

Although Sunny Hills (14-9, 3-2) went into the second quarter up by three, they ended the half down by two.

The Highlanders (8-13, 2-3) went on another 5-0 run to open the scoring in the second quarter and take the lead.

A 3-pointer by Shaw, one of only three in the half, followed by a 3-point play by Ross ended the Highlanders run and put the Lancers up by four.

The Highlanders, like before, cut the Lancers lead down in the final minutes of the half.

Howlin made an impact on the game once more for La Habra.

The senior scored the Highlanders final six points of the half to put them up 24-22 .

Howlin was held scoreless in the third quarter, and despite efforts by the rest of the team including two 3-pointers the highlanders halftime lead did not survive.

After some back and forth scoring between the two teams the Lancers regained the lead through the free throw line.

Two players for Sunny Hills contributed most scoring wise to putting the team back on top in the third.

Ross, a constant target in the paint, and Shaw, who made three out of four free throws in the third, led the way for the Lancers with 12 of the team’s 15 points in the quarter.

In what was a theme of the night, the lead changed again in the fourth quarter.

Highlanders Senior Chris Breen knocked down a go ahead two pointer with little over five minutes left, and soon after Senior Noah Desatoff extended their lead to five.

As the game headed towards its conclusion the Highlanders seemed to be pulling away from the Lancers after a three point play by Howlin made their lead 53-45 with under three minutes left.

The Lancers responded by cutting the Highlander lead to three near the final minute through a basket in the paint by senior Jacob Dibble and free throws.

Moments later on their next possession Sunny Hills closed the once late game eight point deficit with a 3-pointer by Barrera.

With the shot clock off and game tied La Habra went to their leading scorer Howlin for a possible game winner.

The senior took the ball into the paint and attempted a close shot.

The shot seemed to be headed in but denied La habra the victory when the ball spiraled out and was rebounded by Ross who quickly sent it to Barrera.

As the game clock rapidly counted down Barrera sent passed the ball to Paek near midcourt.

In a race against the clock Paek quickly dribbled down the court and converted a layup while being fouled to put the Lancers up by two with 0.4 seconds remaining.

Paek made the subsequent free throw to extend the Lancers lead to three and late game run to 11-0.

On the final play of the game Howlin heaved a shot almost the full length of the court in an attempt to send the game into overtime, but his very long range shot went off the backboard.

“We just blew it in like the final two minutes, we turned the ball over, we couldn’t stop them,” Howlin said.

“I think it was senior year, just knowing that this is like our chance to win league or to progress to winning league,” Ross said when asked about what was behind the final run of the game.

“We needed this win,” Barrera said.

La Habra will look to rebound from the loss in their next game on Friday at Troy High School. Sunny Hills will be looking to extend their two game winning streak when they visit Fullerton High school on Friday.