Sports

La Habra basketball teams shut down Fullerton at home

Adam Cooley (shown here against Buena Park) scored 18 points as the Highlanders defeated Fullerton, 59-36 at home Friday night.
Adam Cooley (shown here against Buena Park) scored 18 points as the Highlanders defeated Fullerton, 59-36 at home Friday night.

by Sarah Fenton
La Habra Journal

A physical game didn’t faze the La Habra boys’ basketball team as it beat Fullerton, 59-36, at home on Friday.

“The first time we played them in league, for the opener, they played like that so we kind of expected it and were preparing for it at practice, getting hit with that contact and pressure,” said Senior Adam Cooley.

The Highlanders (14-8, 3-3) came out strong on defense to start the game and held the Indians to only seven points in the first quarter.

Fullerton (7-16, 1-5) had a hard time pushing through La Habra’s defense, which resulted in turnovers. The Highlanders led, 12-7, going into the second quarter.

“We’re pretty banged up,” said David Ploog, La Habra head coach. “A lot of the guys are hurt so we did a lot of shooting but we looked at the tape and kind of figured out some of the plays they were running so we worked a lot on the plays they were running so we were prepared for them.”

The game became more aggressive, but La Habra continued to push the ball on offense and stayed solid on defense.  The Highlanders led, 30-14, going into halftime.

“A lot of times at halftime you can relax when you have a lead,” Ploog said. “We talked about putting more pressure on defense and just making sure we have that attitude. I thought the guys really stepped up and did it.”

The Highlanders didn’t relax in the second half and stepped up the intensity both offensively and defensively.

Justin Jaimez stole the ball early in the quarter and passed it down the court to Adam Cooley who finished the play with a layup.

La Habra held the Indians to only six points and continued to lead, 41-20, going into the final quarter.

The intensity escalated in the fourth quarter as both teams fought for the win. La Habra stayed solid on defense and kept Fullerton from taking the lead.

David Desatoff led the team in scoring with 22 points and Adam Cooley followed with 18 points.

“The big thing was defensively, we really put a lot of pressure on them,” Ploog said. “So we keep working on defense because that’s how we win basketball games and we had a low number again and that helps us just win. We’re not the most polished offensive team so we really focus on our defense and we stepped up since the last game.”

La Habra’s next game will be again Sunny Hills at home on Wednesday.

“They play a different style than a lot of the teams in our league,” Ploog said. “They play really fast. So we’re just going to look at tape again, look at some of the things they do, and some of the plays they run. But we really have to focus on getting back and match their speed.”

Speed isn’t the only thing Adam Cooley will be focusing on in their next game against Sunny Hills.

“I’m planning to shut down Max Thurman,” Cooley said. “But we just need to make sure they don’t shoot because they like to shoot threes, that’s their thing, so just shut down their shooters.”

Megan Chancellor (shown against Sonora) scored 14 points against Fullerton as the Lady Highlanders improved to 5-1 in league with a 52-28 win, Friday night at home.
Megan Chancellor (shown against Sonora) scored 14 points against Fullerton as the Lady Highlanders improved to 5-1 in league with a 52-28 win, Friday night at home.

GIRLS VARSITY

Strong defense and aggressive play helped the La Habra girls’ basketball team defeat Fullerton, 52-28, on Senior Night at home on Friday.

“I have never been so excited,” said Senior Megan Chancellor about senior night. “Honestly all my family was up there and it felt amazing and my heart was just pumping the whole entire time. I was just pumped up to play in the game tonight. It was crazy.”

The Lady Highlanders (12-9, 5-1) took control of the ball to start the game and Emma Zener quickly sank a three-pointer from the corner less than 10 seconds into the quarter.

“We just worked on ball handling and passing because that has been our weakness at times,” said Jim Bohn, La Habra head coach. “We ran a lot of full court transitioning to work on finding spacing to eliminate turnovers. ”

Fullerton (8-13, 1-4) tried to push the ball on offense, but couldn’t break La Habra’s defense and was forced to take outside shots. La Habra led, 14-11, going into the second quarter.

La Habra continued to play with the same amount of aggression in the second quarter and held the Lady Indians to only six points.

Early in the quarter, Larisa Maehera stole the ball from the Indians and passed it down the court to Zener who finished the play with a layup. The Lady Highlanders held on to the lead, 32-17, going into halftime.

“I had to keep them focused,” Bohn said. “I told them that we hadn’t won the game yet. They had to come out and play some good defense. We had a few defensive lapses in there where we didn’t rotate as well as we should have. I told them [to] be aggressive. That’s kind of what we went away from in the last couple of games. We were settling for shots rather than being aggressive towards the basket. We did that today and I think that kind of went in our favor.”

The Lady Highlanders came back strong in the third quarter and attacked the basket.

Megan Chancellor drove the ball down the sideline and sank the jump shot towards the end of the third quarter. La Habra led, 46-25, going into the final quarter.

La Habra’s defense stayed strong in the fourth quarter and held Fullerton to only three points.

“I thought we passed the ball a lot better today,” Bohn said. “We didn’t make long passes. There were a few in the first but around the half court set we had crisp passing. We didn’t do a lot of dribbling which I wanted them to do, make short passes and we had some great looks. Emma played big today and Megan played big also.”

Emma Zener was the leading scorer for La Habra with 21 points and Megan Chancellor followed with 14 points.

La Habra’s next game will be at home on Wednesday against Sunny Hills.

“We’re probably going to take a day off tomorrow to rest and then get settled and ready for them,” Bohn said. “It was a close game at their facility and it’s a big game for us because we want to keep that ball rolling. Sunny Hills is a great team and coached well and we’re ready for the challenge.”

Started in 1995, the La Habra Journal is an independent community news source serving the cities of La Habra and La Habra Heights.