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Thursday, January 5, 2012
L.V. Lutheran breezes past Chino Hills

By Blair Angulo

CHINO HILLS -- Two-time defending state champion La Verne Lutheran, like many across the Southland, still hasn't found its top form. Oftentimes it doesn't arrive until February, a few weeks before the start of playoffs.

Lutheran provided glimpses of what it might look like in a month in a 61-36 non-league victory against Chino Hills on Thursday night. Arizona-bound forward Grant Jerrett scored 22 points before taking a seat early in the fourth quarter. Guard Eric Cooper Jr. added 19.

"We've got a ways to go," Jerrett said. "We've still got to find our team camaraderie."

The Trojans (11-4) buckled down defensively in the second quarter, outscoring the Huskies 24-7 to pull away for good. Their largest lead was 27, built by contesting perimeter jump shots and forcing movement into the crowded paint.

Even the home fans couldn't help but applaud Jerrett's transition slam dunks.

"Our team has to live off winning the 50-50 loose ball challenges," Lutheran coach Eric Cooper Sr. said. "We've got to be aggressive enough to challenge other teams."

Deandre Page led Sierra League contender Chino Hills (10-4) with 10 points. Twin brother Deion Page had nine.

Lutheran has won four straight since losing its first two games in the Torrey Pines Holiday Classic tournament. Up next is a matchup against one-loss Carlsbad La Costa Canyon in the San Diego Lincoln Showcase on Saturday.

Blair Angulo covers preps for ESPN Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter.