Heralds roll past Knights with stifling defense

By Bryant Freese
La Habra Journal

Whittier Christian controlled the game from start to finish against Ontario Christian Saturday night, winning 67-29 in a home game at Whittier Christian High School.logo-heralds
The Heralds played like they had a lot to prove after a disappointing 21-point loss Tuesday night against Heritage Christian.
“They had a little redemption in themselves tonight” said Sherwin Durham, head coach of the Heralds.
The Heralds started off slow, scoring only seven points in the first four minutes of the basketball game. They kept themselves in the game with their man-to-man, intense defense.
Ontario Christian took their only lead of the game midway through the first quarter with a three-point field goal from Grayson Kline.
Prompting Shane Dean of the Heralds to match him with a three-point field goal of his own. Deans’ shot got the teams energy up on both sides of the ball.
Moments later Christian Alvis-labadie made a driving lay-up around a Knights defenseman while being fouled giving the Heralds a two point lead before they went on a 6-0 run to end the first quarter, they led Ontario Christian 18-10 after one quarter.
The energy from the Heralds carried into the second quarter. The defensive intensity of Whittier Christian played an important role in building a big lead. “The defense is what makes us  go,” said Durham.
The defense did make them go. Whittier Christians defense held the Knights to seven points in the second quarter, outscoring Ontario Christian 22-7.
Shane Dean also played a key role in the dominant second quarter, scoring seven points. He finished the game leading the Heralds with 20 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists. Dean looked to be the biggest, fastest and strongest player on the court Saturday night. Durham noted, “he really had it going tonight.”
The Knights didn’t have an answer for him defensively. Dean was quick to credit his teammates for getting him great opportunities during the game after being asked about his commanding performance. “When we have a hot hand we keep feeding them,” said Durham.
Deans’ offensive spark and Whittier Christians tough defense gave them a 40-17 lead going into halftime.
The Heralds started off the second half with a 23-point lead, but the intensity didn’t let up on either side of the court.
The Whittier offense moved the basketball around side-to-side to get the best open shot, “we always move the ball well,” said Dean “It’s a staple of our team.” The defense stood strong stifling the Ontario Christian offense once again, holding them to only three points in the third quarter.
The Whittier Christian offense got more help from junior Justin Turner, who benefited from the great offensive ball movement. Turner scored nine points in the second half and 14 points in the game.
Turner was lethal from behind the three-point line, hitting three shots on 50% shooting. Taking the Heralds into the final quarter of the game leading 57-20.
With a seemingly insurmountable lead going into the 4th quarter the Heralds worked on their ball movement even more. Passing the ball as many times as possible while winding down the clock as long as the shot clock would allow them too.
The Heralds defense gave up only 12 points in the second half of the basketball game, leading them to a 67-29 win over Ontario Christian.
Whittier Christian will play Maranatha at Whittier Christian High School Tuesday night.

Lady Heralds overpower Ontario Christian
Whittier Christian girls basketball overmatched Ontario Christian with their size in the paint, winning 44-20 Saturday afternoon at Whittier Christian High School.
The Lady Heralds had problems turning the ball over early and often. But their defense started playing tough, causing six turnovers in the first quarter.
Freshman point guard Justine Nieto started the second quarter strong for the Heralds with a three-point field goal to make the score 11-3. Even with the offense starting to pick up, the defense continued to play aggressively, holding Ontario Christian to under 30 percent shooting from the field.
The Heralds defense forced a total of 16 turnovers, holding the Knights to 20 points, eight points below their season average.

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