Green Valley boys basketball coach Lorenzo Jarvis was asked what he was most proud of Saturday, and his answer consisted of six sentences. In that span, Jarvis used the word “fight” five times.
Clearly, the Gators’ scrappiness stood out.
“These kids never quit,” Jarvis said. “They fight, and that’s what you want as a team, especially early in the year.”
Romello Jones had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Green Valley rallied for a 72-68 overtime victory over Shadow Ridge in the White Division semifinals of the Foothill Holiday Classic.
The Gators (7-2) will meet Valhalla (Calif.) in the championship game at 5 p.m. Monday at Foothill.
“This was one of those grind-it-out games,” Jarvis said. “I thought we played smart basketball and ran the system the way we work on it in practice.
“Every game you want to compete for a title. I’m proud of the kids because they’re coming along. I love the way they play together. I’ve never had a team play so much together.”
Isiah Macklin added 14 points and eight rebounds for the Gators, and Brandon Burke finished with 12 points.
Shadow Ridge (7-6) took a 61-59 lead when Melvin Johnson dove on the floor near midcourt to get a steal and fed Brett Meci for a layup with 53 seconds to go.
The Mustangs were up 62-59 until Burke made a 3-pointer with 28.3 seconds remaining in regulation to send the game to overtime.
Burke made another 3-pointer to put the Gators on top 67-64 in the extra session, and Green Valley was able to close out the victory by going 5-for-6 from the free-throw line in the final 20.6 seconds.
“One thing about this team is they fight every game,” Jarvis said. “(Shadow Ridge is) a great team over there, and they really have some good athletes.”
Meci led the Mustangs with 22 points, and Jerell Springer scored 12 before fouling out with 3:38 remaining in regulation. Johnson and Brian Freeman each contributed 10 points for Shadow Ridge.
Green Valley closed the first half on a 9-0 run to take a 33-29 advantage at the break. The Gators led by as many as eight points early in the second half and were up 44-39 before Shadow Ridge answered with an 11-0 run.
Johnson capped the spurt with a layup following a steal by Samonte Hooper to put the Mustangs on top 50-44 with 8:43 left in the second half.
Macklin had a steal and went coast-to-coast to finish off a 9-1 run that put Green Valley up 53-50 with 5:30 to go in regulation.
Valhalla (Calif.) 52, Rancho 47 — At Foothill, David McKeever had 16 points, but the Rams lost to the Norsemen in the White Division semifinals.
Chrys Jackson had 10 of his 12 points in the second half for Rancho, which meets Shadow Ridge in the third-place game at 3:40 p.m. Monday at Foothill.
The Rams led 43-41 but gave up an 11-4 run late in the second half. Jacob Hammett knocked down two free throws with 1:20 remaining to put Valhalla on top 52-45.
Cole Henderson scored a game-high 19 points for the Norsemen, and Hammett finished with 15 points.
Cimarron-Memorial 67, Arbor View 65 — At Foothill, Terrell Walker scored 16 points, and the Spartans outlasted the Aggies in double overtime in the White Division despite 31 points from Arbor View’s Trent Hunt.
Edwin Jones had 11 points, while Jadon Brown and Jaron Ponder each finished with 10 points for Cimarron.
Quemaree Harris had 14 points for Arbor View.
Chaparral 59, Desert Oasis 52 — At Foothill, Marc Silas scored 15 points to lead the Cowboys over the Diamondbacks in the White Division.
Richard Nelson had 12 points, and teammate Samuel Porras scored 10 for Chaparral.
Aamondae Coleman led Desert Oasis with 14 points, and Drevin Cannon notched 11 points for the Diamondbacks.
Green Valley 61, Chaparral 48 — At Foothill, Jones had 14 of his game-high 20 points in the second half to lift the Gators past the Cowboys in the White Division quarterfinals.
Macklin added nine points for Green Valley.
Silas led Chaparral with 15 points. Porras made four 3-pointers and finished with 14 points, and teammate Edgar Ramirez added 10 points for the Cowboys.
Valhalla (Calif.) 62, Cimarron-Memorial 54 — At Foothill, Walker led the Spartans with 15 points in their loss to the Norsemen in the White Division quarterfinals.
Jones finished with 13 points for Cimarron, which led 30-28 at halftime.
Henderson scored 17 of his 23 points in the second half for Valhalla.
Shadow Ridge 63, Desert Oasis 60 — At Foothill, Springer scored 24 points, and the Mustangs slipped past the Diamondbacks in the White Division quarterfinals.
Coleman led Desert Oasis with 18 points, and teammate Taiga Miyano scored 16. Cannon added 12 points for the Diamondbacks.
Rancho 44, Arbor View 42 — At Foothill, McKeever had 17 points as the Rams slipped past the Aggies in the White Division quarterfinals.
Hunt finished with 17 points, and teammate Jesse Vogel notched 10 points for Arbor View.
Legacy Charter (S.C.) 108, Palo Verde 97 — At Foothill, Grant Dressler poured in 32 points, and Ja Morgan added 31 points, but the Panthers gave up the final 11 points and lost in double overtime in the Gold Division.
Taylor Miller supplied 20 points for Palo Verde.
Mohamed Touray, who finished with 43 points for Legacy Charter, made a 3-pointer at the regulation buzzer to send the game to overtime tied at 79.
Dressler drove the lane to put Palo Verde ahead 88-86 in the first overtime, though he missed an opportunity at a three-point play.
Graeson Vereen grabbed the rebound, and Morgan made 1 of 2 at the foul line to give the Panthers a three-point advantage, but Harrison Curry made a 3-pointer for Legacy Charter at the buzzer to tie the game at 89 and send it to a second OT.
Valley 73, Legacy 44 — At Foothill, Nick Brannon led four players in double figures with 15 points, and the Vikings routed the Longhorns in Gold Division pool play.
Shea Garland and Taveon Jackson each had 12 points, and Cameron Burton scored 10 for Valley, which pulled away after leading 32-25 at halftime.
Brody Olenslager finished with 14 points for Legacy, and teammates Shakir Arrey and Dontre Avery had 11 points apiece.
National Prep (Ga.) 63, Valley 62 — At Foothill, Burton had 15 points, but the Vikings lost to the Rebels in Gold Division pool play on a last-second 3-pointer by Darius Simmons.
Brannon and Darrion Daniels finished with 12 points apiece, and Jackson scored 11 for Valley, which led 33-19 at halftime.
Palo Verde 63, Redemption Christian (N.Y.) 61 — At Foothill, Dressler and Morgan had 23 points apiece in the Panthers’ victory in pool play of the Gold Division.
Morgan made five of Palo Verde’s nine 3-pointers, and Dressler had three 3s.
Basic 68, Coolidge (D.C.) 65 — At Foothill, Josh Villaros had 16 points in the Wolves’ victory in pool play of the Gold Division.
Frank Harris and Jaimen Williams each finished with 11 points for Basic.
ThunderRidge (Colo.) 67, Basic 33 — At Foothill, the Wolves were blown out by the Grizzlies in the Gold Division.
Foothill 61, Denver East (Colo.) 57 — At Foothill, Torrance Littles finished with 15 points, and the Falcons topped the Stars in Gold Division pool play.
Kevin Woodland added 12 points for Foothill.
Del Sol 64, Southern Australia I 47 — At Del Sol, Bo Beagle scored 14 of his game-high 24 points in the second half to lift the Dragons by Southern Australia.
Ganny Belloni added 13 points for Del Sol, which led 34-25 at halftime.
Spring Valley 72, Mount Miguel (Calif.) 39 — At Del Sol, Eric Hansen had 11 of his 16 points in the first half to open up the lead and send the Grizzlies by the Matadors.
Carl Albert had 12 points for Spring Valley, which got 11 points apiece from Travis Walton and Ben Sison. The Grizzlies led 33-14 at the break before cruising in the second half.
Darian Norwood and Donnell Payne each had nine points for Mount Miguel.
Del Sol 54, Spring Valley 44 — At Del Sol, Noah Spearman scored 17 points to power the Dragons past the Grizzlies.
Rashaun Lawson added 13 points, and Brian Greer scored 10 for Del Sol, which led 22-18 at halftime.
Jalen Cannon led Spring Valley with 16 points, and teammate Samuel Menghisteab added 10 points.
Southern Australia II 51, Western 36 — At Del Sol, Robert Fortson-Smith led all scorers with 17 points but the Warriors fell short against Southern Australia.
Zamond Washington and Kwan Carter each had six points for Western, which led 22-19 at halftime.
Lochlan Hutchison had 15 points, and teammate Mitchell McKenna scored 10 for Southern Australia.
Granite Hills (Calif.) 55, Eldorado 49 — At Del Sol, Joshua Brown scored 14 points in the Sundevils’ loss to the Eagles.
Carl Crayon and Carmonte Jones each had 11 points for Eldorado, which held a 32-29 halftime advantage.
Granite Hills buried two 3-pointers late in the game to seal the win.
Southern Australia 2 57, Eldorado 51 — At Del Sol, Crayon had 21 points and eight steals in the Sundevils’ loss to Southern Australia.
Jones added nine points, and Brown notched seven points and seven rebounds for Eldorado, which had a 29-24 halftime lead.
Dylan Stubbs had 11 of his 14 points in the second half, and Hutchison added 12 points for Southern Australia.