Bulldogs set sights on a title

first_imgANAHEIM – They expected to eventually play Bishop Montgomery, Colony or Hart, but unseeded St. Bernard will provide the opposition for top-ranked Pasadena High School in today’s CIF-Southern Section Division II-AA boys basketball championship at Honda Center in Anaheim at 2:15 p.m. While Pasadena (29-2) stormed past Murrieta Valley 78-56 in the semifinals and has defeated its playoff opponents by an average of 27 points, the Vikings (18-9) have survived four consecutive nail-biters. They haven’t defeated an opponent by more than five points in the postseason. For the Bulldogs, overlooking opponents hasn’t been a problem. “They’re here,” Bulldogs coach Tim Tucker said of St. Bernard. “That’s all you need to know. “We learned our lesson last year after getting knocked out in the second round of the playoffs (as the top seed). You have to make sure you’re as prepared as you can and leave it all on the floor, because this is it.” When the Bulldogs walk into Honda Center this afternoon, they might be more at ease than they were in their trip in 2005, which ended in a championship game loss to Dominguez. PHS is hoping to win its first title since 1995. It has three seniors, Trevon Harmon, Chris Williams and Torey Phillips, who made the trip to Anaheim two years ago. After the Vikings defeated No. 7 Arroyo Valley 57-52 in the semifinals, coach Robert Alaniz didn’t sound nearly as surprised as the opponents they knocked off. “Maybe some of the teams overlook us; I don’t know,” Alaniz said. “I think everyone who has gone against (us) in the playoffs has been surprised by our quickness.” center_img “We have players with experience in this situation and that’s important,” Tucker said. “When we came here a couple years ago, we were mesmerized by the marble on the walls and the beauty of the building. “When we walk in there (today), it’s all business.” Perhaps nobody is playing with as much intensity and consistency as the Bulldogs’ duo of 6-foot-7 forward Nigel Ajere, who’s averaging 19 points and 12 rebounds, and Harmon, averaging 25 points. But Phillips, a 6-3 guard, has been just as steady, doing all the dirty work and hitting timely shots to give the Bulldogs a solid third option. “You can’t say enough about what Nigel and Trevon have done in the playoffs, but Torey Phillips is one of our MVPs, too,” Tucker said. “His steadiness has been unbelievable for us. I have no problem going to him when things are getting tough.” [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 4485 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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