Los Angeles Preps: Darius Henderson
January, 11, 2012
By Tim Haddock | ESPNLosAngeles.com
WOODLAND HILLS -- The El Camino Real boys' basketball team forced Woodland Hills Taft into a half-court offense and slowed the game to a grinding pace, but came up a point short against its West Valley League rival.
Taft (12-3), the No. 9 team in the ESPNLA Top 20 basketball rankings, gutted out a 45-44 win at El Camino Real High School in a game that was scoreless for the final two minutes. Brandon Perry hit the game-winning shot for Taft, then the Toreadors stymied El Camino Real to hold on to its slim lead.
Perry scored a team-high 15 points for Taft, but this game was all about defense and stops. It was definitely not the type of game Taft fans are used to seeing nor the players are used to playing.
First-year Taft coach Jason Hart said his team is still searching for an identity.
“We don’t have a style yet,” Hart said. “Our style is winning games.”
El Camino Real (9-6) jumped out to an 11-4 lead in the first quarter and was up 14-9 after one period.
But Taft went on an 11-0 run to open the second quarter and took a 20-14 lead. El Camino Real came alive at the end of the period to cut the lead to one point, 22-21, at halftime.
Still El Camino was 3-for-10 from the field in the second quarter while Taft started spreading the ball around.
Kris Yanku hit a 3-pointer and scored the first five points for Taft to open the second quarter. Perry ended the 11-0 run with a pair of free throws.
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