No. 12 Orange Lutheran upsets Corona Centennial to advance to Open Division semifinals
Wednesday's Open Division quarterfinal between No. 4 Corona Centennial and No. 12 Orange Lutheran had the physicality of a PAC-5 playoff game.
By basketball standards, things were chippy from the opening tip. There were three technical fouls and an intentional foul in the first half alone.
In the end, Orange Lutheran guard C.J. Hankins needed ice for his puffy lip but he and his Lancers were able to flex their muscles in a 78-73 win over the Huskies (22-5) to advance to the CIF Southern Section Open Division semifinals. They now face top-seeded Bishop Montgomery on Saturday.
Orange Lutheran head coach Chris Nordstrom's advice to his team about the chippy play?
The head coach didn't even bring it up. He expected a physical game between two of the more physical teams around. So the Lancers (24-4) continued to play their game.
Corona Centennial, however, did not. The Huskies looked like a favorite in the Open after its 26-point first round win over Alemany. But the Lancers would have none of that in a game played at Hope International University in Fullerton.
Despite sporadic spurts, Centennial never appeared to get into a rhythm offensively.
"We have a little thing where if teams say they don't play well against us, we feel like that's us a little bit, right?" Nordstrom said. "Some of it is our defense and the way we're playing it. And I thought as a team we adjusted to what they were trying to do pretty well."
SMU-bound Sedrick Barefield scored 26 points for the Huskies to lead all scorers with most of his buckets coming on drives to the basket.
The Huskies didn't move the ball effectively and had just four assists on the night -- the opposite of how they defeated Alemany, ending up with an opposite result.
"We didn't execute anything that we talked about," Corona Centennial head coach Josh Giles said. "We got what we deserved."
The Lancers led by as much as 10 in the first quarter, but took just a one-point lead into the locker room at halftime.
Orange Lutheran took a six-point lead into the fourth quarter and then Rogers Printup hit a couple of big shots to put the game out of reach. The Orange Lutheran guard knocked down a three to put the Lancers up nine with just over five minutes to play.
Two minutes later, Orange Lutheran came up with an offensive rebound after a missed free throw. The ball was swung around to Printup, who drilled another three pointer from the right wing. This one gave Orange Lutheran an 11-point lead -- its largest since the first quarter.
"(Centennial's defense) collapsed and I just got some space and I just knocked them down," Printup said, who scored 11 of his 15 points in the second half.
Keisean Lucier-South led the team with 19 points. Hankins had 17 points and sophomore Joseph Riley had 16.
It's not quite midnight for No. 12 Orange Lutheran, the last remaining double-digit seed in the Open Division. The Lancers are too busy enjoying the ball and have more to prove.
"We took it personally when they ranked us No. 12," Printup said. "We came in second in the Trinity League, a tough league, and knew that we could compete with anybody."