Inland Empire: Colony 78, Montclair 71

ONTARIO -- The winning streak hasn’t quite crossed generations, but it’s definitely a topic at the dinner table.

The Ontario Colony boys’ basketball team won its 55th consecutive Mt. Baldy League game Friday night against visiting Montclair, rallying from an eight-point third-quarter deficit to win, 78-71.

"My brother actually went here, he started the streak,” said junior guard Miles Poullard. “If we lose, I’d have to deal with him the rest of my life.”

Tyler Poullard graduated from Colony in 2006, the year the school won its only section title in boys’ basketball. Several other Titans also have siblings who are part of the winning streak, which began with the league opener in the 2005-06 season.

The program’s last league loss came against Montclair on Feb. 8, 2005.

“It’s something they’re very much aware of and something they want to keep going,” said Colony coach Jerry De Fabiis, who also guided the Titans to section final appearances in 2005 and ’08. “When we were down eight, you could hear them talking about it, ‘we ain’t losing this tonight.’ It’s in the back of our mind and something these kids take a lot of pride in.”

De Fabiis made sure the streak would remain intact by switching to a full-court press down the stretch. That move translated into a number of turnovers that resulted in easy transition baskets.

Josiah Dennis finished with 16 points, including nine in the fourth quarter, and a team-high five assists for Colony (11-7, 5-0). Everett Turner also scored 16 points and Chris Mays had 11 points and 15 rebounds for the Titans.

Bobby Talamantes, a 5-8 junior guard who came in averaging 11 points for Montclair, scored a game-high 30.

Montclair (15-3, 4-1) showed it’s a team to be reckoned with after defeating Atascadero, currently ranked No. 5 in Southern Section Division 4AA, in the championship game of the Atascadero tournament last month.

The Titans are expecting another challenge Monday at Ontario (8-9, 4-1).

“This league is better than people think,” De Fabiis said. “I was a little surprised to be down eight, but I’m not surprised either because they play really, really hard.”