Posted on 05 January 2013 by La Habra Journal
By Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal
A 27-point outburst in the third quarter sent the Whittier Christian boys basketball team on to a 59-49 nonleague victory over La Serna, Saturday night at Whittier Christian High.
Tyler Chacon and
Whittier Christian’s Noah Evans looks for someone to pass to during the Heralds win against La Serna 59-49 Saturday night.
combined to hit all nine of their attempts in the quarter for a combined 20 points and Ryan Esslinger dished out four assists as the Heralds turned a four-point halftime lead into a 18-point advantage.
“We liked what we were doing in the first half and I think it just carried over,” said Sherwin Durham, Whittier Christian head coach. “I think we shot the ball well in the first half and sometimes when we think we need to warm up heading into the second half and we don’t, sometimes good things happen from that.”
Chacon scored 20 points to lead the Heralds, while Evans scored 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds.
Evans contributions were key after Whittier Christian lost 6-foot-8 center Stephen Nolin within the first minute after he suffered a broken finger while battling for a rebound.
Esslinger added 15 points, 11 of which came in the first half.
While the Heralds only grabbed two more team rebounds than La Serna, the second half was lopsided as Whittier Christian out-rebounded the Lancers 18-9.
“Believe it or not, Esslinger leads our team in rebounds, he’s a go-getter,” Durham said. “As a big man, if a guard is leading in rebounds, they feel like they aren’t doing their job, so that’s a nice little challenge.”
The Heralds were off and running immediately in the first quarter, starting the contest on a 9-0 run.
Evans put up five of those points, including a three-pointer, and grabbed four rebounds in the first quarter.
Esslinger found opportunities on the baseline and put up six first-quarter points.
But La Serna battled back and got six straight points from guard Gio Long and four free throws from Taurean Orem, who finished with a double-double, as Whittier Christian held a 15-10 advantage early.
Despite landing in foul trouble, Orem was a bright spot for the Lancers, making all 12 of his free throw attempts and collecting 10 rebounds. He scored a team-high 18 points in the loss.
His contributions kept La Serna at a close distance, as the Heralds took a 28-24 lead into halftime.
However, the Lancers were not prepared for what Whittier Christian threw at them in the third quarter.
Chacon got the half started with a 3-pointer before Evans powered inside for two baskets, the second coming with a foul and a made free throw.
Evans added his second 3-pointer later in the quarter and Chacon added four more jumpers, with one converted into a 3-point play with another foul. Esslinger added four points to match his assists for the quarter.
“Scoring can be contagious once someone is shooting the ball well,” Durham said. “Anyone can lead us in scoring, but when you have your main guns going and Ryan got off to an early start, it helps us across the board. Noah stepped up big and our goal was 20-plus points in the paint and I think we accomplished that.”
On the other end, La Serna struggled from the floor, shooting 5-of-21. Though the Lancers scored 13 points, Whittier Christian’s sharp shooting gave it a towering advantage.