The CIF 2AA crown was up for grabs Saturday morning as Colony battled with Villa Park, in a heated and intense contest. Colony was able to prevail in a tightly played matchup, by a final score of 74-70.
Rodrick McCobb (19 points) and Sedrick Altman (16 points) led the way for Colony, while Caleb Banuelos (20 points) and Myles Franklin (16 points) were the top contributors for Villa Park.
"I came up big for my team being a leader," McCobb said.
As a young sophomore playing on a big stage, Altman also helped his team by playing solid and under control.
"I just had to try to not make the moment bigger than what it is," he said.
"For stretches of the game, we broke them out of what they like to do, but we played out of character," Villa Park head coach Kevin Reynolds said. "They did a great job of pressuring us."
In an intense, back-and-forth fourth-quarter battle, Colony hung on to a narrow 59-57 advantage with just over six minutes remaining. A Myles Franklin 3 put Villa Park on top by one, however Colony answered right back with points of their own.
Both teams were laying everything on the line for a CIF ring, so the only question was who would blink first. Villa Park began to blemish as the quarter went along, committing too many unnecessary turnovers that led to easy Colony baskets. Colony was extremely effective on the offensive boards, snatching every second chance opportunity they got.
With just over one minute remaining, a tip in by Altman extended Colony's lead, and Villa Park failed to score at the other end. Two Jozelle Carter made free throws put Colony up 71-65, and sealed a championship victory.
To start the third quarter, Villa Park was the aggressor. Led by the outside shooting of Banuelos, VP took a 51-46 advantage into the final minutes of the period. Colony trailed by two heading into the fourth, but would certainly be poised for a strong finish.
Game action tipped off with Villa Park getting off to a fast start, led by the offense of Franklin. Colony played with great physicality on both ends of the floor to even things out, but trailed 15-12 at the end of one. For stretches of the second quarter, Colony played with remarkable hustle. Their lockdown defense was clearly bothering Villa Park, however VP combatted their effort by pushing the tempo. Villa Park went to a full court press, but Colony had success against it and led 36-29 heading into halftime.