The Southern Section boys' basketball playoffs began last week with a number of noteworthy performances. Here's a rundown of some of the more memorable from Friday night.
Biggest upset: One of the Inland Empire’s best hopes of winning a section title went down the drain when third-seeded Palm Springs lost on a buzzer beater to host Beverly Hills in a Division 3AAA second-round game. The Indians had taken a one-point lead on a putback by Jordan Pellum with 7.3 seconds remaining. Quintin Taylor then blocked a shot by the Normans on the other end of the floor, but the ball went to another Beverly Hills player and he made the basket from 12 feet at the buzzer.
Runner-up: Rancho Cucamonga beat eighth-seeded Downey, 73-67, in overtime of a Division 1AA game. Malcolm Drumwright had 26 points and eight rebounds for the Cougars, who blew a 10-point lead with two minutes remaining in regulation. Rancho Cucamonga will host ninth-seeded Foothill on Tuesday.
Best performance: Sticking with the low desert theme, Jonathan Serven of Palm Desert scored 35 points in another Division 3AAA game, leading the Aztecs to a 66-54 victory against visiting Citrus Hill. Serven, a 6-3 senior guard, became the school’s career scoring leader, passing the previous mark of 1,358 points established by Justin Sobczyk in 2005.
Runner-up: Eisenhower senior guard Marvelle Harris scored 34 points to lead the seventh-seeded Eagles to a 66-29 victory against visiting Montebello in a Division 1AA game. Eisenhower advanced to host 10th-seeded Rancho Verde in Tuesday’s second round.
Best comeback: Riverside Poly has some big wins already this season. The Bears were the only team to beat J.W. North during Big VIII League play and they did it twice. But they never had to come as far back as they did against visiting Perris in a Division 2AA first-round game. Poly rallied from a 17-point first-quarter deficit to win, 63-52. Jeff Gonzalez, a 6-6 senior forward, finished with 25 points and 17 rebounds, and Poly’s other big man, 6-6 senior forward Noah Prouse, pitched in 22 points and seven rebounds. The eighth-seeded Bears move on to play No. 9 Ayala on Tuesday night at Ayala High.
Runner-up: Vista Murrieta trailed by seven points with five minutes remaining in a Division 1A second-round game against visiting Alta Loma, then rallied to win in overtime, 65-57. Davin Guinn scored 32 points for the 10th-seeded Broncos, who advanced to play No. 7 Chino Hills in Tuesday’s second round at Chino Hills.