Posted on 16 January 2014 by La Habra Journal
Zach Gray led La Habra with 16 points in the Highlanders’ Freeway League-opening victory over Fullerton, Wednesday night at Fullerton High.
by Sarah Fenton
La Habra Journal
A game dominated by fouls did not stop the La Habra boys’ basketball team as it rebounded from a loss last week and defeated Fullerton, 58-50, in their Freeway League opener, Wednesday night at Fullerton High.
“We’ve really done a good job with moving the ball and the guys are getting more comfortable with each other,” said David Ploog, La Habra head coach. “They had to learn to gel together and we’ve done a better job of moving the ball around and getting good shots off.”
The score was close throughout the game as both teams fought aggressively in hopes of starting 1-0 in the Freeway League. Both teams moved the ball quickly in the first quarter, but had a difficult time scoring. La Habra (12-5, 1-0) took the lead over Fullerton, 9-6, going into the second quarter.
The aggressiveness increased from both teams in the second quarter, which triggered more foul calls. The majority of the points scored were off of free throws and Fullerton (6-12, 0-1) took the lead, 26-22, going into halftime.
The Highlanders changed their strategy during halftime in hopes of slowing down Fullerton’s offense.
“We talked a lot about taking better shots,” Ploog said. “We changed our defense to see if we can stop their jumpers so we went to a zone and I think that kind of slowed them down.”
La Habra came out strong in the second half but Fullerton wasn’t backing down. Tension grew and elbows were being thrown at the end of the third quarter as a player from Fullerton was given a technical.
Fouls continued to be called on both teams in the fourth quarter but neither team gave in. La Habra’s defense forced four consecutive steals, giving them the momentum they needed to win the game. Zachary Gray led the team in scoring with 16 points and David Desatoff, playing for the first time this season, scored 15 points.
“We have to do a better job on defense. We need to keep our head up and see what we’re doing defensively so we cane make a smarter decision,” Ploog said. “In league every gym is going to be loud and every team is going to be aggressive so we just need to be smart, take our time, and see what the best option is.”
With their first league game out of the way, the Highlanders will focus on improving their defense as they prepare for their next league game against Sunny Hills on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Kaili Peko (shown dribbling against La Serna) led La Habra with 15 points as the Lady Highlanders opened Freeway League play with a 55-37 win over Fullerton, Wendesday night at Fullerton High.
The La Habra girls’ basketball team may be young, but that didn’t stop the Lady Highlanders from starting their season strong by defeating the Fullerton Indians, 55-37, in their first league game, at Fullerton, Wednesday night.
La Habra (8-8, 1-0) moved the ball around well on offense, which created gaps in Fullerton’s defense allowing the Highlanders to drive the ball to the basket. Kaili Peko led the team with 15 points and Megan Chancellor scored 11 points.
“The main thing is for our girls to play well. They’ve been off for three weeks so we’re trying to get them to come out with a lot of energy,” said Jim Bohn, La Habra head coach. “We want to keep them scoring and definitely come out and show our presence in the game. We’ve been working on our defense, shooting, and team chemistry. They’re ready to go. It’s kind of like just open the door and let them out after those three weeks.”
Being off for three weeks didn’t slow down the Highlanders. The girls penetrated the gaps in Fullerton’s defense in the first quarter, scoring 17 points.
La Habra tightened their defense in the second quarter, allowing Fullerton (6-10, 0-1) just four points. The Lady Highlanders led the Indians, 33-12, going into halftime.
Fullerton came out in full force after halftime, dominating the third quarter. The Lady Highlanders fought back but multiple turnovers slowed down their momentum. Despite the turnovers, La Habra led the Indians 48-22 at the start of the fourth quarter.
Fullerton continued to fight back against the Highlanders and scored 15 points on La Habra’s defense in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the early deficit.
With their first league game out of the way, La Habra will focus on defense and shooting to prepare for their game against Sunny Hills on the road, Friday at 6 p.m.