(Pasadena) – Brandon Jolley and Blake Hamilton combined for 41 points to lead Pasadena to an 81-67 win over Beverly Hills Friday night before a packed house at Tom Hamilton Gymnasium. With the victory the Bulldogs advance to the CIF Division 3AAA Finals.
The Bulldogs needed to be at their best to hold off a determined Beverly Hills team. The Normans were up by one after one and were still within five, 37-32 at halftime. Pasadena finally pulled away in the third quarter and led by as many as 17 in the fourth.
The Normans’ Austin Mills led all scorers with 23 points with ten of those coming in the first quarter. The point guard hit two threes in the first quarter and three overall. He scored on a variety of ways whether it was from the perimeter or getting to the basket. He was also eight of nine from the line.
“I know Austin from the summer league. I talked to him before the game. I’ve watched him shoot the ball and I was afraid that if he came out and did what he did we would be in trouble,” said Pasadena Coach Tim Tucker.
Mills had 22 in the first three quarters but was held to just two points in the fourth.
“We made some adjustments in the third quarter and we put Perris Hicks on him. He hit some big time shots but I thought we did a good job in the second half,” Tucker said.
Jolley had six points in the first half and four of those were free throws. Pasadena made a concerted effort to get him the ball in the third quarter and he responded with ten points. Hamilton added seven in the third as he and Jolley combined for 17 of the teams’ 18 third quarter points. The Bulldogs extended the lead to 11 in the third.
Jolley (22 points) and Hamilton (19) combined for another 13 in a 26 point fourth quarter and the Bulldogs finally put Beverly Hills away.
Siavache Yoktafar hit a couple of big threes early in the fourth quarter as the Normans tried to stay in the game but eventually Pasadena’s big men wore them down.
“We did a lot better job getting Jolley some touches down low on the post in the second half than we did in the first half. We kind of isolated him and then got him the ball,” Tucker said.
Pasadena gained the lead in the second quarter behind the scoring of point guard Ajon Efferson. Efferson had eight in the quarter and was four of six from the line. He ended up with 11 overall joining Jolley and Hamilton in double figures.
Efferson left the game in the third quarter with an ankle injury and his status for the final won’t be known until next week.
The Bulldogs had a 10-3 run in the second turning a 19-18 deficit into a 29-21 advantage. Pasadena never trailed again.
Mills led the way for the Hills but he did get help from Broderick Smith who scored 14 and Yoktafar who buried four treys for 12. Freshman Jeffery McClendon also hit doubles for the Dogs with 12.
“The freshman is a freshman no more. He’s going to be a great player,” Tucker said.
Hicks added eight and John John Haywood tossed in seven for Tucker’s troops. Raymond Jackson scored five fourth quarter points.
Next up for Pasadena is Arroyo Grande at Anaheim Convention Center next week. The time and date are to be determined.
BH 14 18 12 23 67
P 13 24 18 26 81