The Eagles Fail to Advance to the Open Division Final Game but will Play in the State Regional Tournament on Tuesday
Rancho Christian came soaring back in the second half to beat Rancho Verde 54-51in Friday night’s CIF Southern Section Open Division Playoff game. The game was played in front of a packed, standing room only crowd at Chaparral High School.
Even though the Eagles won, they failed to advance to the Open Division Final Game. Bishop Montgomery won the Pool A title by virtue of its 54-50 victory over Rancho Christian in the opening round last Saturday.
Rancho Verde jumped out to a 14-9 lead, thanks to seniors Jaxen Turner and Darryl Payton, who nailed 2 three-pointers each in the first period. Isaiah Mobley scored 7 points in the second period to rally Rancho Christian, as the Eagles outscored the Mustangs 18-16 to make it 30-27 at the half.
The Eagles defense shined in the third period. Rancho Christian scored 17 points while holding the Mustangs to just 7 to take over lead with 6:18 to play in the period. Rancho Verde came back in the fourth and out shot the Eagles 14-10 but junior Dominick Harris nailed all seven of his free throws in the final period to beat the Mustangs.
Harris led the Eagles in scoring with 17 points. He was 9 for 10 at the charity stripe. Senior Isaiah Mobley added 15 points and his brother Evan, a junior scored 13. The brothers combined for eight blocked shots, dominated the boards and anchored the defense.
Junior Jordan Montgomery did not miss a foul shot and ended the game with 5 points. Sophomore Luke Turner played tenacious defense and scored 2 points.
Jaxen Turner led the Mustangs with 18 points. Tory San Antonio added 17 more while senior Darryl Payton scored 6. Seniors Anthony Thomas scored 5 points, and Nagee Clowney and Emmanuel Agubata each added 3 for Rancho Verde.
The Eagles, who are ranked sixth in the state, have qualified for the State Regional Championship Tournament, which begins Tuesday, February 26th.
Rancho Verde 14 16 7 14 51
Rancho Christian 9 18 17 10 54