MONTEBELLO -- The game was billed as the high-scoring guard against the imposing big man. Few expected they'd end up on the same team by the end of the night.
The best scorer on the floor Wednesday turned out to be Montebello sharpshooter John-Michael Carabes, who scored a career-high 36 points in a 72-48 victory against visiting Redlands in a Southern Section Division 1AA first-round game.
"I just felt it today," said Carabes, a 6-foot senior guard. "I took it as if it was going to be my last game and I didn't want it to be."
Along with his defense on Redlands guard Ashton Robinson, who came in with the second-highest scoring average in the state, Carabes formed an dangerous duo with 6-foot-11, 275-pound teammate Antonio Worthy, who finished with 13 points, a career-high 21 rebounds and four blocked shots.
Robinson, meanwhile, who came in averaging 34.1 points, was limited to 15 on five-for-30 shooting from the floor. Carabes was the primary defender on Robinson but had plenty of help.
"Sometimes I'd get tired and he'd beat me," Carabes said. "Luckily, we have Antonio there."
The eighth-seeded Oilers (26-3) led by nine at the half after holding Robinson to five points. They scored the first 10 points of the second half as frustration began to set in for Redlands and Robinson began forcing shots.
"Our plan was to over-help on him and force him to get rid of the ball and see if somebody else can beat us," said Montebello coach Marino Angulo. "He tried early on to pass the ball. He got frustrated because he wasn't scoring very much and I think he pressed the issue."
Rocky Caro, who also scored 15 points for the Terriers, cut the deficit to 11 with a three-point basket early in the fourth quarter but Montebello followed with back-to-back threes of its own to end the comeback.
"We just didn’t play hard enough," Robinson said. "They wanted it more."
Montebello must now head inland for the second round Friday, playing on the road against the winner of Perris and 10th-seeded Eastvale Roosevelt. Worthy said the Oilers won’t be satisfied with anything less than another victory.
"We’re not going to be one and done, or two and done," Worthy said.