Fast start not enough for Arroyo Valley in semis

first_imgWeathersby, the hero of the Hawks’ upset Friday of second-seeded Bishop Montgomery, made his first three shots and had 11 points after one quarter. He was 2-for-14 from the field the rest of the way, several of his shots coming up short. “I wasn’t tired,” Weathersby said, “it was me rushing my shot.” Alazin said St. Bernard made a point of “getting a hand in (Weathersby’s) face the rest of the time, and not let him get his feet set.” James Sanders scored 14 points for Arroyo Valley, which trailed by as many as 10 points (47-37) before 6-foot-6 junior center Joseph Richard led a fourth-quarter rally. Richard finished with 13 points, 13 rebounds and five blocked shots after rarely seeing the ball early. St. Bernard won despite making only 7 of 20 free throws and missing the front end of three 1-and-1 opportunities down the stretch. Arroyo Valley was unable to take advantage, however, and junior guard Devin Price (16 points) got a breakaway layup after a Weathersby miss inside to give St. Bernard a 54-48 lead with 59 seconds left. The Hawks clawed to 54-52 with 14 seconds left on a layup by Charles Grays, but Price hit two free throws, Weathersby lost a ball off his leg on a layup attempt, and Price clinched it with another free throw. Smith has taken San Bernardino teams to the CIF semifinals six times (the first five at Pacific), and five times his teams have lost. “People don’t know how hard it is, especially when you’ve never been here before, like our kids,” he said. “It’a a lot of pressure.” Arroyo Valley could still make the state tournament, Smith said. At any rate, four key contributors Tuesday are juniors – 6-6 Demetrius Sneed, Jermane Anderson, Richard and Sanders – and figure to make the Hawks a formidable unit next season. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! EL SEGUNDO – For 105 giddy seconds, it seemed too good to be true. It was. After their opening flurry, the Hawks had severe trouble getting inside the big and active St. Bernard defense, rarely getting a decent look at the basket. “We knew once we got the ball over midcourt we would be OK,” St. Bernard coach Robert Alaniz said. “But that’s a hell of a team we beat.” Arroyo Valley, champion of the San Andreas League, fell to 23-7. St. Bernard, the No. 3 team out of the Del Rey League, improved to 20-10 and faces top-seeded Pasadena for the section title Saturday in Anaheim. “That was our dream all season, to get there, and we got this far, one step away,” Arroyo Valley’s Weathersby said wistfully. “Just fell short.” center_img Arroyo Valley sprinted to a 10-0 lead, but Playa del Rey St. Bernard didn’t panic, began handling the Hawks’ pressure, choked off the visitors’ offense and went on to a 57-52 victory in the CIF-Southern Section Division II-AA semifinals Tuesday night before a near-capacity crowd at El Segundo High School. “Sometimes you lose your focus when you start like that,” Arroyo Valley coach Scott Smith said. “You forget that you’re not an offensive team, you’re a defensive team.” last_img read more