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Covina boys basketball falls to J.W. North in semifinals of own tournament

By in Press Enterprise on December 30, 2017

By Vincent Nguyen

In size and stature, the J.W. North boys basketball team didn’t compare to its previous teams.
Against host Covina in the semifinals of the Covina Christmas Tournament on Friday night, the Huskies had to compensate.

J.W. North hustled on the fastbreak and outrebounded Covina to secure a spot in the tournament final with a convincing 92-58 win.

The Huskies will face Walnut on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the final. Walnut defeated Peninsula 57-38 in the other semifinal.

At the half, the pressure produced 17 rebounds for J.W. North, compared to Covina’s six.

By then, it was a 19-point J.W. North lead.

“We mentioned that same, exact stat line in the locker room,” Covina head coach William Bissman said. “We told them to keep them off of the boards, keep them from getting easy layups and force them to be a jump shooting team. Obviously, they’re good at that, too. We just had to pick our poison.”

Covina guard Rudy Suarez scored a game-high 21 points, but it wasn’t enough to cancel out the Colts’ 15 turnovers on the night.

Covina kept it close in the first quarter before a pair of Huskies 3-pointers and steals disrupted the Colts’ momentum.

Ultimately, the J.W. North half-court pressure was too much to overcome.

“Once we crossed the pressure at half court, they just constantly pinned us, so it was tough to score on,” Bissman said.

J.W. North had five players score in double digits, led by Edwin Collins with 20 points to go along with 12 rebounds and seven assists. Mo Aldabbas tallied four steals for the Huskies.

“Normally, we have size and we’ll walk up (to the basket),” J.W. North head coach Mike Bartee said. “But we’re not very big, so if we played (fast-paced), we’re usually better in the second half, when other teams aren’t used to that tempo.”

Covina went on a […]    

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