ANAHEIM -- Marqueze Coleman was not going to be denied.
The senior from Mission Hills Alemany skied over a pair of Oak Park defenders, snatched a rebound out of mid-air and followed with a one-handed put-back dunk during Saturday's Southern Section championship game. The highlight-reel worthy sequence in the fourth quarter was indicative of the type of game it was for Coleman & Co.
"It was one of those plays, I went up for the ball, didn't care who was in my may, and finished strong,'' said Coleman, who saluted the crowd after the athletic move at the rim and minutes later was celebrating a Division 3A championship as the top-seeded Warriors defeated the Eagles, 72-60, in a showdown at the Anaheim Convention Center Arena.
With a five-point lead at the half, the Warriors (28-4) did not take it easy. They opened the second half with a sense of urgency, Coleman in particular. The Nevada commit scored 12 points over an eight-minute stretch. The Eagles (24-8) had no answer for him as Alemany extended its advantage to 13 points at the start of the fourth.
Coleman finished with 23 points, eight rebounds and three blocks.
Ron Lee scored 15 points in the first half. The junior from Oak Park, however, struggled thereafter. He picked up his fourth foul with 2:37 remaining in the third quarter and spent a significant amount of time on the bench. Lee came back into the game in the fourth quarter but fouled out with 5:59 left on the clock.
After failing to score in the first eight minutes of play, Max Guercy got things going in the second quarter. He scored 11 points before halftime to give the Warriors a 32-27 lead at intermission.
"It was my job to stop Lee. He fouled out, didn't he?'' said Guercy, who finished with 21 points, five rebounds and five assists. "Once we took him out of the game, we felt like we could take over.''
Lee played well early on against a defense designed to stop him. He scored six points in the first quarter to help Oak Park take a surprising 13-11 advantage at the end of one. Lee picked up right where he left off in the second quarter. He scored nine points to keep the Eagles somewhat close on the all-important scoreboard.
Lee had 19 points. His eight turnovers, however, were not desirable.
Sean Ceglinsky covers preps for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.