Victor Ohia Obioha’s triple double helps Hillcrest boys basketball team to victory
RIVERSIDE >> Hillcrest’s Victor Ohia Obioha can affect a basketball game in many ways, and all of them were on display Friday night.
Ohia Obioha, the 6-foot-8 senior center who is a native of Nigeria, finished with 14 points, 21 rebounds and 14 blocked shots to register his second triple double of the season. That amazing all-around effort helped the Trojans beat Phoenix St. Mary’s 58-43 in a semifinal of Hillcrest’s King of the Hill Tournament.
Hillcrest (13-2) will face Aliso Niguel (13-4) for the championship Saturday. Aliso Niguel beat Murrieta Mesa 72-53 in the other semifinal game..
Ohia Obioha had eight points, 13 rebounds and three blocks at halftime. A triple double became likely when he blocked eight shots in the third period. Ohia Obioha needed two points when the final period started and got those on a put-back with three minutes left.
“With Victor, it often feels like I’m playing a video game and I’m using some cheat code,” Hillcrest coach Jackson Wood said. “We can do so many different things on defense and rely on his natural and freakish athleticism.”
Hillcrest raced out to a 17-4 advantage and led St. Mary’s by 10 after the opening period. Ohia Obioha grabbed nine rebounds during the quarter, making sure St. Mary’s did not have very many second chances on offense.
St. Mary’s (6-10) was able to cut the deficit to five points early in the third quarter, but the Knights were unable to get anything past Ohia Obioha. St. Mary’s took 16 shots in that third period, and Ohia Obioha swatted half.
“I just try to go up and block everything that I can,” he said. “I try to use my instincts. I know teams will try to pump fake me, so I stay patient and try to get up there quickly.”
Hillcrest had trouble […]