SANTA ANA, CA - Friday night action in the 23rd Nike Extravaganza featured Rolling Hills Prep prevailing against Corona del Mar, 70-54. Sophomore guard Vaughn Flowers poured in 24 points to lead all scorers for Rolling Hills Prep, while Kevin Kobrine scored 17 and John Humphreys chipped in 15 for Corona del Mar.
Flowers scored 18 points in the fourth quarter to seal a hard-earned victory for Rolling Hills Prep.
“This game was crazy for me, I had a lot of open looks and just took my shots,” he said. “After halftime they kept leaving me open so I knew I needed to keep taking those shots, and they just kept falling.”
Six-foot-eight sophomore forward JT Tan and senior guard Alex Garcia each scored 16 points for Rolling Hills Prep. Corona del Mar trailed by eight at halftime, but cut to within four by the end of the third quarter thanks to two Humphreys three's.
“Everyone chipped in and we started getting some stops on defense,” he said.
Moments into the third quarter, Humphreys nailed a three to spark the Corona del Mar offense. Flowers followed with a basket of his own, but three straight Corona del Mar points kept the game within four, with just over five minutes left in the quarter.
Full-court pressure defense from Flowers bothered the Corona del Mar guards, but the Sea Kings continued to stay in it. Kobrine nailed a three to cut the deficit to 36-33, and the teams traded baskets to end the third with a score of 44-40.
Flowers completely dominated the final quarter of play, from start to finish. He hit a three on the first possession of the fourth, and made another one offensive play later. A costly Corona del Mar turnover gave Rolling Hills Prep a shot to start putting the game away, and Flowers scorched his third three-pointer in a row to give them a 53-44 lead with 5:31 remaining.
A missed Corona del Mar field goal moments later led to a spectacular Flowers up-and-under layup. Corona del Mar struggled to score a bucket for several minutes down the stretch, allowing Rolling Hills Prep to extend their lead to 63-49 and effectively secure a Nike Extravaganza opening night win.
Rolling Hills broke out to a 12-2 lead deep into the first quarter, off pressure defense and good ball movement. Garcia made two three pointers during the quarter, as the Huskies finished with a 19-8 advantage.
Corona del Mar falls to 15-10 with the loss, while Rolling Hills Prep improves to 15-6. The Sea Kings host Woodbridge and then travel to Irvine next up, wrapping up regular season play. Rolling Hills Prep has now won six games in a row and nine of their last ten.