Kings fall to Devon Toews, Avalanche

Though the Kings played a superior game to their effort Friday, they lost by an identical 3-2 score to the same opponent, the Colorado Avalanche, at Staples Center Saturday.

Defenseman Sean Walker and rookie center Rasmus Kupari lit the lamp for the Kings. Cal Petersen negated 27 of 30 shots.

Defenseman Devon Toews scored twice for the Avalanche while defenseman Cale Makar produced a goal and an assist. Winger Andre Burakovsky had two assists for the second straight night, stretching his point streak to five games. Jonas Johansson made 16 of 18 saves for his fourth win in six starts since being acquired by Colorado.

“They pushed, they played hard, to a man, through the whole lineup,” Kings Coach Todd McLellan said of his team despite its defeat.

McLellan said that in the dying days of a season condemned to end next week, he was attempting to focus on a specific area each night. Saturday, it was the forecheck, and McLellan liked what he saw for most of the game. Additionally, he said he was evaluating intangibles among his young group.

“We’re looking for the character part. That, I think, is as important at this time of year as structure, passing skills and all those types of things. We passed that test tonight,” McLellan said.

The Kings managed to piece together a solid third-period push including a promising rush and an opportunity for center Anze Kopitar to feed winger Lias Andersson in the slot. They did not record a shot on goal in the former instance, and were thwarted by a last-instant stickcheck by Makar in the latter.

They pulled Petersen with around two minutes to play but failed to score. They have not yet scored six-on-five this season, which has three games remaining for the Kings.

“That third period was as fast of a period as we’ve played in a long time,” McLellan said.

An early third-period power play breathed life into the Kings’ game. First they sustained pressure on one trip up the ice, and then they scored two seconds after Colorado’s penalty expired, 5:21 into the period.

Andersson extended his point streak to three games when he made a short pass to Kupari, who had somehow found ice between the circles that was quiet enough to load up a lively shot. It was Kupari’s first NHL point, and in his first game action since March 8.

“Obviously it’s a great feeling to score my first NHL goal. I’ve got to give credit to Lias, it was a great pass,” Kupari said.

Kupari said he continued working on his physical play and puck protection over the past two months. McLellan said he felt the rookie settled in as the game progressed, carried the puck with confidence and made effective use of his respectable shot.

In the second period, the Kings did not build significantly on the momentum of a strong finish to the first period. Their best shift of the second came right near its conclusion. Earlier, they needed an authoritative glove save from Petersen on a sterling chance for center Nazem Kadri during a power play to avoid falling down three goals.

Near the halfway mark of the game, Colorado earned some breathing room. They drew the Kings to the right side of the zone, at which point Toews activated, creeping from the left point to the left faceoff circle. There, he received the puck from Makar, lurched toward Petersen and whipped a shot high to the short side for the second time Saturday for his ninth goal of the campaign.

The first period featured the Avs darting out to a two-goal lead before the Kings halved their deficit, all on goals where a skate came into play.

Center Gabe Vilardi combined his formidable reach with his soft hands as he extended his stick around defenseman Patrick Nemeth to deliver a deft pass to Walker. Walker controlled the puck off his skate and then went backhand to forehand for his fourth goal of the season with 6:02 left in the first period. Walker has 16 points on the year, five of which have come in his last three games, and Vilardi has three goals and an assist over his three-game scoring streak.

“I liked our game tonight. There were moments where I thought where we were, especially early, maybe a little bit intimidated; they are a very good team,” McLellan said. “Once we started to play we were aggressive, our forecheck was much better than it was yesterday.”

The Avs had gone up by a pair 3:27 earlier off a power-play goal. A failed clearing attempt that hit the skate of forward Adrian Kempe extended Colorado’s zone time. While it was Makar to winger Mikko Rantanen on the power play for a one timer on Friday, the play went the opposite direction Saturday with Rantanen sending a nimble pass for a heavy one-timer from the point by Makar. Winger Gabriel Landeskog set an effective screen in front for Makar’s eighth goal and his second in as many games.

Petersen had to contend with point-blank shots from forwards Joonas Donskoi and J.T. Compher off miscues, and his work kept the Kings in a game where they were despite being doubled up in shots through 20 minutes.

Colorado had opened the scoring less than five minutes in when Compher’s pass off the rush first struck Burakovsky’s skate and then Kupari’s stick before landing on Toews’s blade for a rising wrist shot that became his eighth goal of 2021.

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JSerra girls relay, Servite’s Max Thomas leave their mark on Arcadia Invitational

ARCADIA – Many times over many years, the season’s best high school track and field performance in the nation happens at the Arcadia Invitational.

JSerra’s girls distance medley relay team turned in such a performance Saturday at the prestigious meet at Arcadia High.

The Lions’ foursome of sophomores Anastasia Snodgrass and Hanna Barmettler, junior Ashlee Gallegos and Georgia Jeanneret finished their race in 11 minutes, 54.43 seconds, the fastest time in the nation this year. The top mark in the nation had been 11:57.81 by Jesuit of Portland, Oregon, last month.

It is the eighth-fastest time in Orange County history. Corona del Mar set the county record in 2006 at 11:34.65.

  • Sara Pettinger of Mission Viejo competes in the shot put during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Jada Gatlin of Mission Viejo competes in the women’s triple jump event during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Max Thomas of Servite wins the 200 meter dash Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Adam Garrison of Fountain Valley sits on the track after an injury in the men’s pole vault event during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Josh Jornadal of JSerra competes in the mens long jump event during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Patrick Izelyamu Jr., right, of Chaminade wins the 100 meter Dash Invitational as Servite???s Max Thomas finished second during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Sara Pettinger of Mission Viejo competes in the shot put during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Max Thomas of Servite wins the 200 meter dash Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Sara Pettinger of Mission Viejo competes in the shot put during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Patrick Izelyamu Jr. of Chaminade wins the 100 meter Dash Invitational as Servite???s Max Thomas finished second during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

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The distance medley covers 4000 meters – a 1,200-meter first leg that was run by Snodgrass followed by a 400-meter leg run by Barmettler then the 800 meters run by Gallegos before Jeanneret finished it with her 1,600 meters.

JSerra track coach Chase Frazier spent months analyzing the Lions’ track and field athletes before he decided Snodgrass, Barmettler, Gallegos and Jeanneret could be a special “DMR” team.

“I started thinking about the DMR probably in September,” said Frazier, who as the coach at Mission Viejo in 2019 when that school’s DMR team had the second-fastest time in the event at 11:38.25. “I started thinking about a log of different things like where their strengths are as a team, who I have running where.”

JSerra won the distance medley at 11:54.43 – fastest time in the USA this season and the eighth fastest time in Orange County history- today at the Arcadia Invitational @ocvarsity @ocvarsityguy pic.twitter.com/zWSFGaqNrI

— Steve Fryer (@SteveFryer) May 9, 2021

He also had to think about how to keep the four fresh. They ran events in a Trinity League dual meet on Thursday. They won the 4×800 relay during Friday night’s relays at the Arcadia Invitational.

“We didn’t expect to do this well,” Snodgrass said. “It was an amazing experience. I’m so glad I got to experience it with these girls.”

Servite junior Max Thomas had an outstanding meet. He won the 200 and finished second in the 100.

Thomas took the 200 in 21.37, more than a half second faster than his previous season best of 21.91. Jeremiah Walker of Fresno Central was second at 21.50.

Thomas said the 200 went exactly as planned.

“What I really wanted to do was make up the stagger (start) fast and come off the turn hard and that would set me up for the whole race,” he said. “I made up the stagger, I came off the turn and from that point on it was just give it everything I had left.”

His 100 time of 10.58 bettered his previous personal best of 10.76. The 100 winner was Patrick Izelmayu Jr. of Chaminade.

🚨 School Record, Again! 🚨

Two hours after breaking the Servite record in the 100, Max Thomas ‘22 does it again breaking the school record in the 200 running a state-best 21.37 at the Arcadia Invitational‼@ocvarsity @SteveFryer @latsondheimer @C_Morrissette @PrepCalTrack pic.twitter.com/yJaPPjQU0S

— Servite Athletics (@ServiteSports) May 9, 2021

An anticipated sprints dual between Thomas and Mater Dei’s Domani Jackson did not occur. Jackson did not participate in the meet because tightness in his legs that followed his sprints in a Trinity League dual meet Thursday against St. John Bosco.

Mission Viejo senior Sara Pettinger, Orange County’s best girls shot put and discus athlete this track and field season, finished second in the shot put with a mark of 42 feet, 10 inches and was third in the discus at 150-5. Both marks were shy of her season bests of 44-3 in the shot put and 155-10 in the discus, both of which were the top marks in the CIF Southern Section going into Arcadia.

Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks junior Hope Gordon bested Pettinger in the shot put with her throw of 45-7.25. Gordon had also thrown 44-3 earlier this season.

Pettinger expected great competition at Arcadia. Outside of CIF sectional and state championships, the Arcadia Invitational annually is the most prestigious meet in California.

“I’m happy how I performed,” Pettinger, a senior who signed with Cal, said of her shot put result. “I thought I did well, I stayed level headed and didn’t let anything really affect me. She (Gordon) caught a good one and that’s how the game works.”

The girls 800 had to be restarted twice because of early collisions that knocked down Orange County runners. Santa Margarita’s McKenna Bradley was the first to go down. On the first restart it was Fountain Valley’s Kaho Cichon who hit the track.

Race officials decided to separate the 14 runners into two alleys to make sure the third attempt at starting the 800 would be successful.

Bradley and Cichon were able to continue, with Bradley finishing 10th in the 14-runner field and Cichon finishing fourth. Cichon’s time of 2:13.29 was three seconds behind the 2:10.61 of winner Mia Chavez of Chino.

Cichon had scrapes on her right elbow and on both knees. She said getting her mind refocused was not easy.

“I was a little shocked,” said Cichon, a junior. “But then I realized I’ve got to get out harder because everyone else is going to get out harder or they’ll start falling, too. So mentally I prepared myself to get out harder.”

Cichon was pleased with the results.

“I’m pretty sure I ‘PR’d’ in this race,” said Cichon, who did so – her previous best was 2:14.35. “That was my goal coming into Arcadia. I think I could have done a little better, but I’m just so grateful I got to run against these amazing people.”

PHOTOS FROM ARCADIA INVITATIONAL

  • Long Beach Poly reacts after winning the 4×100 meter relay Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Chino’s Mia Chavez wins the 800 meter run invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Delany Crawford of Upland runs the final leg as Upland wins the 4×100 meter relay Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Mia Barnett, left, of Crescenta Valley high fives Sophia Nordenholz of Albany after winning the 3200 Meter Run Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Idara Ibekwe of JW North collapses at the end of the 400 meter Dash Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Ugonna Ikejiofor of Downey competes in the discus during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Kai Graves-Blanks, right hugs teammate Delany Crawford of Upland after winning the 4×100 meter relay Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Paige Sommers of Westlake finishes with a vault of 13??? 9??? in the Pole Vault during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Taylor of Johnson of Long Beach Poly runs the final leg as Long Beach Poly wins the 4×100 meter relay Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Adam Garrison of Fountain Valley sits on the track after an injury in the men’s pole vault event during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Long Beach Poly’s Jade McDonald competes in the long jump during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Colin Sahlman of Newbury Park, left, places first as his teammate Lex Young wins second place in the men’s 3200 meter run invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Ellaney Matarese of La Canada in the 800 meter run invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Jadsyn Marshall of St. Mary???s wins the 300 Meter Hurdles Invitational as Delaney Crawford of Upland finished second during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Audrey Suarez of Mayfield wins the 1 Mile Run Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Marcell Mitchell-Francis of Long Beach Wilson runs the last leg as they win the 4×400 Meter Relay Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Cherish Washington-Logan of Lakewood competes in the shot put during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Mia Barnett of Crescenta Valley wins the 3200 Meter Run Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Antonio Abrego of Golden Valley wins the 800 meter run invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Taylor of Johnson of Long Beach Poly runs the final leg as Long Beach Poly wins the 4×100 meter relay Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • A few people look on during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Chino???s Mia Chavez wins the 800 meter run invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Paige Sommers of Westlake finishes with a vault of 13??? 9??? in the Pole Vault during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Reign Redmond, third from right, of Carson wins the 100 meter Dash Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Mia Barnett of Crescenta Valley wins the women’s 3200 meter run invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Long Beach Poly’s Jade McDonald competes in the long jump during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Antonio Abrego of Golden Valley wins the 800 meter run invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Aaron Sahlman of Newbury Park wins the Mile Run Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Delany Crawford of Upland runs the final leg as Upland wins the 4×100 meter relay Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Delaney Crawford of Upland falls as he finished second during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Megan Humphries of Golden Valley competes in the women’s high jump during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Long Beach Poly’s Jade McDonald competes in the long jump during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Arielle McKenzie of La Canada finished second in the 800 meter run invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Paige Sommers of Westlake finishes with a vault of 13??? 9??? in the Pole Vault during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Aaron Sahlman of Newbury Park wins the men’s 1 mile run invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Delany Crawford of Upland runs the final leg as Upland wins the 4×100 meter relay Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Chino???s Mia Chavez wins the 800 meter run invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Long Beach Poly’s Lauren Reed competes in the long jump during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Jadsyn Marshall of St. Mary’s wins the 300 Meter Hurdles Invitational as Delaney Crawford of Upland finished second during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Julia Richey of Newbury Park competes in the shot put during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Carlita Coleman of Vista Murrieta competes in the shot put during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Keylen Dixkens of Long Beach Poly finished fourth in the 110 meter Hurdles Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Ajah Anderson, left, of Upland finished fourth in the 100 meter Hurdles Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Long Beach Poly’s Zharia Taylor competes in the long jump during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Long Beach Poly’s Lauren Reed competes in the long jump during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Colin Sahlman of Newbury Park, left, places first as his teammate Lex Young wins second place in the men’s 3200 meter run invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • The start of the boys 100 meter Dash Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • The 1 Mile Run Rising Stars during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Long Beach Poly’s Lauren Reed competes in the long jump during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Reign Redmond, right, of Carson celebrates with teammate Kyla Blockett after winning the 100 meter Dash Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Sara Pettinger of Mission Viejo competes in the shot put during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Max Thomas of Servite wins the 200 meter dash Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Long Beach Poly’s Zharia Taylor competes in the long jump during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Brandon Benson competes in the mens triple jump during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Marcell Mitchell-Francis of Long Beach Wilson runs the last leg as they win the 4×400 Meter Relay Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Kai Graves-Blanks, right hugs teammate Delany Crawford of Upland after winning the 4×100 meter relay Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Patrick Izelyamu Jr., right, of Chaminade wins the 100 meter Dash Invitational as Servite???s Max Thomas finished second during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Arielle McKenzie of La Canada finished second in the 800 meter run invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Paige Sommers of Westlake finishes with a vault of 13??? 9??? in the Pole Vault during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Arielle McKenzie of La Canada finished second in the 800 meter run invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • The 800 meter run invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Long Beach Poly’s Zharia Taylor competes in the long jump during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Marcell Mitchell-Francis of Long Beach Wilson runs the last leg as they win the 4×400 Meter Relay Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Camryn O’Bannon of St. John Bosco competes in the mens triple jump during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Chino???s Mia Chavez wins the 800 meter run invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Patrick Izelyamu Jr. of Chaminade wins the 100 meter Dash Invitational as Servite???s Max Thomas finished second during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • The 1 Mile Run Rising Stars during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Sara Pettinger of Mission Viejo competes in the shot put during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Chino???s Mia Chavez wins the 800 meter run invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Runners at the start of the mens 3200 meter run invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Ugonna Ikejiofor of Downey competes in the discus during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Antonio Abrego of Golden Valley wins the 800 meter run invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Arielle McKenzie of La Canada finished second in the 800 meter run invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Antonio Abrego of Golden Valley wins the 800 meter run invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Jadsyn Marshall, right, of St. Mary???s wins the 300 Meter Hurdles Invitational as Delaney Crawford (not pictured) of Upland finished second during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Asjah Atkinson of St. Anthonys, right, wins first place, as Jade McDonald of Upland, left, wins fourth place in the women’s 100 meter hurdles during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Terrell Johnson of Clovis passes the baton to teammate in Jeremiah Walker in the men’s 4×100 meter relay invitational event during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Antonio Abrego of Golden Valley wins the 800 meter run invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Paige Sommers of Westlake finishes with a vault of 13??? 9??? in the Pole Vault during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Sara Pettinger of Mission Viejo competes in the shot put during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Camryn O’Bannon of St. John Bosco competes in the men’s triple jump event during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Idara Ibekwe of JW North, left, along with Sadia Green of Wilson competes in the 400 meter Dash Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • The 1 Mile Run Rising Stars during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Idara Ibekwe of JW North, left, along with Sadia Green of Wilson competes in the 400 meter Dash Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Runners during the start of the men’s 1 mile run Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • The 1 Mile Run Rising Stars during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • The 1 Mile Run Rising Stars during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Terrance Sweetman of South Pasadena competes in the mens triple jump event during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Christopher Buck of Whitney competes in the mens shot put event during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Ajah Anderson, left, of Upland finished fourth behind the winner Asjah Atkinson, right, of St. Anthony in the 100 meter Hurdles Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Reign Redmond of Carson, left, Alyssa Thompson of Harvard Westlake, center, and Shelby Richmond of Thousand Oaks compete in the women’s 100 meter dash event during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Ariana Gonzalez of Ayla competes in the women’s high jump during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • High School teams look on during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Paige Sommers of Westlake finishes with a vault of 13??? 9??? in the Pole Vault during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Runners compete in the mens 110 meter hurdles invitational event during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Jailen Burrell of Upland competes in the mens long jump event during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Paige Sommers of Westlake finishes with a vault of 13??? 9??? in the Pole Vault during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Paige Sommers of Westlake finishes with a vault of 13??? 9??? in the Pole Vault during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Paige Sommers of Westlake finishes with a vault of 13??? 9??? in the Pole Vault during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Paige Sommers of Westlake finishes with a vault of 13??? 9??? in the Pole Vault during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Paige Sommers of Westlake finishes with a vault of 13??? 9??? in the Pole Vault during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Paige Sommers of Westlake finishes with a vault of 13??? 9??? in the Pole Vault during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Paige Sommers of Westlake finishes with a vault of 13??? 9??? in the Pole Vault during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Kennedy Johnson of Glendora competes in the women’s triple jump event during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Andrew Trottier of Liberty competes in mens shot put during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Jason Thompson of Harvard Westlake competes in the men’s triple jump event during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Runners compete in the women’s 800 meter run invitational event during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Josh Jornadal of JSerra competes in the mens long jump event during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Terrance Whitney of South Pasadena competes in the mens triple jump during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Miguel Orozco of Long Beach Poly competes in the mens long jump during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Runners compete in the men’s 800 meter run invitational event during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cade Moran of Murrieta Mesa competes in mens shot put event during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Dalia Frias of Mira Costa competes in the 3200 Meter Run Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Kennedy Johnson of Glendora competes in the women’s triple jump event during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Alyssa Perkins competes in the women’s triple jump event during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Runners compete in the women’s 100 meter dash invitational event during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Competes in the xxx event during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Jada Gatlin of Mission Viejo competes in the women’s triple jump event during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Competes in the xxx event during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Simone Smith of Upland competes in the women’s triple jump event during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cade Moran of Murrieta Mesa competes in mens shot put event during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Andrew Trottier of Liberty competes in mens shot put during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Ellaney Matarese of La Canada, center, competes in the women’s 800 meter run invitational event during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Paige Sommers of Westlake finishes with a vault of 13??? 9??? in the Pole Vault during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Competes in the xxx event during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Max Thomas of Servite wins the 200 meter dash Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Audrey Suarez of Mayfield wins the 1 Mile Run Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Competes in the xxx event during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Audrey Suarez of Mayfield wins the 1 Mile Run Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Rowan FitzGerald of Crescenta Valley competes in the Mile Run Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Lindsay Michels of South Pasadena competes in the 3200 Meter Run Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Mia Barnett of Crescenta Valley wins the 3200 Meter Run Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Mia Barnett of Crescenta Valley wins the 3200 Meter Run Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Dalia Frias of Mira Costa competes in the 3200 Meter Run Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Mia Barnett of Crescenta Valley wins the 3200 Meter Run Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Marcell Mitchell-Francis of Long Beach Wilson runs the last leg as they win the 4×400 Meter Relay Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Makayla Browne of JW North runs the last leg as they win the 4×400 Meter Relay Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Marcell Mitchell-Francis of Long Beach Wilson runs the last leg as they win the 4×400 Meter Relay Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Makayla Browne of JW North runs the last leg as they win the 4×400 Meter Relay Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Makayla Browne of JW North runs the last leg as they win the 4×400 Meter Relay Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Austin Montez of Great Oak runs the final leg as they win the Distance Medley Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Aaron Sahlman of Newbury Park wins the men’s 1 mile run invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Mia Barnett of Crescenta Valley wins the women’s 3200 meter run invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Runners compete in the men’s distance medley during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Runners at the start of the mens 3200 meter run invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Aaron Sahlman of Newbury Park wins the men’s 1 mile run invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Runners compete in the mens 3200 meter run invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Aaron Sahlman of Newbury Park wins the men’s 1 mile run invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Runners during the start of the men’s 1 mile run Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Runners compete in the men’s distance medley during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

  • Runners compete in the mens 3200 meter run invitational during the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Libby Cline-Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

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Santa Margarita basketball loses to St. John Bosco in another battle to the end

BELLFLOWER — The Santa Margarita boys basketball team wound up on the wrong end of another hard-fought, down-to-the-wire contest with St. John Bosco on Friday night.

Last month, the Eagles won such a contest, defeating the Braves by three points in overtime.

But in the league rematch Friday, the Braves made the decisive adjustments in the second half and rallied to beat the visiting Eagles 56-48 and force a tie for second place in the Trinity League behind Mater Dei.

The Eagles (9-2 overall, 4-2 in league), who are ranked No. 2 in Orange County, had the lead at halftime. Though they struggled against the Braves’ stifling, full-court press in the second half, they were ahead 43-39 with about five minutes left in the game.

The Braves (13-2) then used a 7-0 run that lasted a little more than a minute to take the lead for good.

“I thought we played at a high level,” Santa Margarita coach Justin Bell said. “Bosco competed at a high level. It was one of those games where whoever made a couple plays down the stretch was going to win, and Bosco made a couple plays down the stretch.”

Santa Margarita got off to a quick start thanks to Luke Turner (14 points, seven rebounds) and held a 24-23 lead at the break. But the Braves, who lost to the Eagles 61-58 in overtime on April 21, tried a new tactic in the second half — a full-court press — and it created all kinds of problems for their visitors.

“They’re really hard to play,” St. John Bosco coach Matt Dunn said. “Their style is such a contrasting style. Most of the first game and that first half (tonight) was more of us playing their style.

“We challenged our guys at halftime to try and get the game to our style, and I thought we did a heck of a job of doing that. … Our guys made some huge plays down the stretch, we made free throws down the stretch, and I’m just really proud of them.”

Postgame interview with St. John Bosco coach Matt Dunn as the Braves get revenge with a victory over Santa Margarita.@ocvarsity @sjbathletics @bosco_tribe @BoscoBasketball @SteveFryer pic.twitter.com/vRjDmMljuC

— Manny Alvarez (@MAlvarez02) May 8, 2021

The Braves pulled out the win despite losing Jeremiah Nyarko for the majority of the second half because of a leg injury. Nyarko ended the night with 11 points, but Lemaj Lewis stepped in and led the Braves with 17 points, four rebounds and four assists.

“Our team is so deep,” Lewis said. “We have a lot of returners and a lot of chemistry. We enjoy playing for each other. We have that next-in-line mentality throughout the whole season.”


St. John Bosco’s Lemaj Lewis had a team-high 17 points in a victory over Santa Margarita on Friday, May 7. (Photo by Manny Alvarez)

The Braves’ Christian Estrada helped out with 12 points and five rebounds, and Scotty Washington chipped in 12 points.

Santa Margarita made a late push to try to retake the lead, but the Braves held on by making their free throws down the stretch.

Colby Barnes added 14 points for Santa Margarita, and Rockwell Reynolds contributed nine points.

Read more about Santa Margarita basketball loses to St. John Bosco in another battle to the end This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. Tustin Shredding Service near me

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Troy girls basketball tops Sonora, likely saves its state-record streak of league titles

FULLERTON — This might be a time when people have to accept big changes in their lives, but don’t tell the Troy girls basketball team that.

After losing to Sonora at the start of Freeway League play, the Warriors knew they were in danger of seeing their state-record streak of consecutive league titles — currently at 28 — come to an end.

The Warriors made it clear Friday night they aren’t ready to let that happen, as they won the league rematch with the Raiders 48-39 at Troy High.

Bella Pearson had a game-high 18 points for Troy, and Endigo Parker (six blocks) was an important defensive presence.

Troy now is in a good position to extend the title streak to 29. The Warriors (11-7 overall) and Raiders (11-4) are both 5-1 in league with four league games remaining against opponents both teams have defeated easily this season. Most likely, they will end up sharing the title.

  • Troy’s Jamie Choi, right, and Isabella Pearson celebrate the team’s win over Sonora in an Empire League game at Troy High School in Fullerton on Friday, May 7, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Troy’s Isabella Pearson shoots during an Empire League game against Sonora at Troy High School in Fullerton on Friday, May 7, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Sonora’s Mia Miyatake, center, tries to keep the ball away from Troy’s Endigo Parker, left, and Maggie Teven during an Empire League game at Troy High School in Fullerton on Friday, May 7, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Sonora’s Kiana Graham shoots during an Empire League game against Troy at Troy High School in Fullerton on Friday, May 7, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Troy players celebrate Kaitlyn Osako’s basket on the buzzer in the third quarter during an Empire League game against Sonora at Troy High School in Fullerton on Friday, May 7, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Troy’s Isabella Pearson, right, shoots under pressure as Sonora’s Alyssa Ke defends during an Empire League game at Troy High School in Fullerton on Friday, May 7, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Troy’s Isabella Pearson, left, shoots over Sonora’s Jazmin Sheikh during an Empire League game at Troy High School in Fullerton on Friday, May 7, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Troy’s Aliyah Gonzalezm right, celebrates her basket with Isabella Peason as Sonora’s Haylie Dermer looks away during an Empire League game at Troy High School in Fullerton on Friday, May 7, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Sonora’s Haylie Dermer, center, shoots as Troy’s Maggie Teven, right, and Endigo Parker look on during an Empire League game at Troy High School in Fullerton on Friday, May 7, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Troy head coach Roger Anderson gives instructions to his players during an Empire League game against Sonora at Troy High School in Fullerton on Friday, May 7, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Troy’s Keira Ujiki, right, shoots over Sonora’s Haylie Dermer during an Empire League game at Troy High School in Fullerton on Friday, May 7, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Sonora’s Alyssa Ke, front, goes up for a basket under pressure as Troy’s Aliyah Gonzalez defends during an Empire League game at Troy High School in Fullerton on Friday, May 7, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Sonora head coach Melissa Barajas, left, gives instructions to her players during an Empire League game against Troy at Troy High School in Fullerton on Friday, May 7, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Troy’s Endigo Parker, right, shoots over Sonora’s Mia Miyatake during an Empire League game at Troy High School in Fullerton on Friday, May 7, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Sonora’s Jazmin Sheikh, left, blocks the shot by Troy’s Isabella Pearson during an Empire League game at Troy High School in Fullerton on Friday, May 7, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

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“I’m just proud of the way the girls competed,” Troy coach Roger Anderson said. “They’re representing 28 years before them.”

“Bella (Pearson) played really strong offensively and led us,” he added. “Endigo (Parker), she’s a force and defensively she’s a force and when she gets aggressive, she’s hard to stop.”

The Warriors trailed 10-9 after the first quarter, but they used a 13-2 scoring run in the second period for a 10-point halftime advantage, 22-12.

“I thought they were able to take advantage of their strength tonight,” Sonora coach Melissa Barajas said. “They did a really good job getting Endigo the ball deep on the block, and they also did a good job of disrupting us on offense.”

Parker finished with 10 points.

Isabella Pearson (18 pts) speaks on the importance of Troy’s 48-39 win over Sonora. The Warriors victory helps them take steps to secure at least a share of league, which would make it 29 years in a row. @ocvarsity @troyhs_gbball @bellapearson44 pic.twitter.com/AZ8ApW2ADL

— David Delgado🇪🇨 (@DavidDelgado_OC) May 8, 2021

Troy was helped at key moments by Jamie Choi and Aliyah Gonzalez in the second period, while Parker challenged each Raider that came into the paint.

The Warriors’ defensive intensity was a factor throughout the game, but especially in the second quarter.

Pearson began the contest 0 for 3 shooting, but started to heat up late in the second quarter. She had five points in the period, including a corner 3-pointer right before halftime.

Haylie Dermer did her best to keep Sonora in the game with a team-high 16 points, including a pair of 3-pointers.

Sonora’s Alyssa Ke was held scoreless in the first half but finished with 11 points, hitting three shots from beyond the arc.

Jazmin Sheikh, who had 13 points for Sonora in its win over Troy on April 21, was held scoreless.

The Raiders closed the gap in the third quarter to six points, 31-25, when Ke drilled a 3-pointer, but Pearson responded with a 3 of her own and Kaitlyn Osako’s buzzer-beater, 3-point shot gave the Warriors a 39-28 lead entering the fourth.

The victory, while important to the Warriors’ league title hopes, wasn’t the best news Anderson received in recent days. He was able to bring his wife, Trudy, home after she spent months in the hospital and going through rehabilitation after suffering a hemorrhagic stroke on Feb. 10.

She nearly lost her life, and due to the restrictions that are in place because of the coronavirus pandemic, Anderson wasn’t able to see her while she was recovering.

Anderson said he leaned on his Troy family during the difficult times.

“The beautiful thing about my team is we are family,” he said, “and they’re like a bunch of daughters that watch out for me and hold me up as I get through this. It’s really special.”

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Whicker: Lakers play just well enough against Blazers to feel the pain

The mailbox was yawning and the stamps were plentiful, but the Lakers turned down the opportunity Friday night.

Had they known what was going to happen to their legs, knees, bodies and souls in Portland, they might have taken the easier option.

They played very hard and, for a long time, very efficiently. They got MVP stuff from Anthony Davis. They still lost, 106-101, because of short-handedness and exhaustion and some ill fortune and a couple of bad decisions, and all their frenzy still led them down into the No. 7 spot in the Western Conference standings.

If they stay there, or sink from there, they must play at least one play-in game while the top six teams rest.

Escaping play-in purgatory might be difficult. The Lakers’ next two opponents are the Suns and the Knicks. They lost the season tiebreaker to Portland on Friday night. A victory would have been a massive B-12 shot to their chances and their outlook. After a tough start, they initiated play.

“The odds are stacked against us,” Coach Frank Vogel said. “I’m proud of how we competed.”

Davis nearly pulled off a special delivery. He exited Thursday night’s loss to the Clippers with a turned ankle and back spasms, but here he scored 36 with 12 rebounds and went to the free-throw line 15 times.

“A.D. looked like himself,” said Alex Caruso, who is suddenly at the top of the Lakers’ point guard depth chart. He showed up, too, with 34 minutes, a season-high 18 points and only one turnover.

In fact, the Lakers did not suffer a turnover in the second or third periods. But they couldn’t survive a 2-for-11 night from Kyle Kuzma, or various bumps in the fourth-quarter night.

Kuzma, and the rest of the Lakers, thought he should have been 3 for 12. He tipped in a shot and got whistled for offensive goaltending. That would have brought the Lakers to within 94-92 with four minutes left. Instead, Damien Lillard drilled a faraway 3-pointer, and so did C.J. McCollum after two Laker turnovers.

But then Davis pounded away for seven consecutive points and it was a 3-point game again. Kuzma pulled up for a transition 3-point attempt and missed it – “I thought he could have gone in for two, and then it’s a one-point game,” Davis said – and Ben McLemore fouled McCollum with 27 seconds left and with nearly 17 seconds left on the shot clock. A defensive stop gives the Lakers the ball with at least 10 seconds remaining, only down by three.

“There’s a lot going on there, things are moving fast,” Davis said. That’s why you hear the great players being praised for “slowing the game down.”

Through it all, Montrezl Harrell never got off the bench, with Marc Gasol and Andre Drummond handling the middle because of Portland’s size inside. Nothing impeded the Blazers from dashing for 42 points in the paint, and Drummond was ineffectual again, still a stranger with little time to sit down with his new classmates.

An ideal blueprint, for the Lakers, would be James’ return for at least the final two games, which are at Indiana and New Orleans next Saturday and Sunday. And there’s always the theory that the Lakers would actually profit from the play-in, merely because they need the work. That theory depends on how you feel about playing Steph Curry and Golden State in a knockout situation.

“We’re confident we’ll be in some sort of playoffs, whatever it is,” Caruso said.

Right now the Lakers are at No. 7, Golden State at 8, Memphis at 9 and San Antonio at 10. It begins with a 7-8 game, in which the winner earns the 7 seed and advances to a normal, best-of-seven first-round series. There’s also a 9-10 game, and the loser of that one packs it up for the season.

Then the 7-8 loser plays the 9-10 winner. The survivor takes the 8 seed.

Again, nobody in or out of basketball doubts that the Lakers can beat anyone, regardless of venue or standing, if they have a full choir. That seems less likely with each silent day from James. At least the Lakers, and Davis, played as if they weren’t waiting for anyone or anything, and there’s something to be said for that. The mail, as you know, takes too long to bother with.

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Lakers’ Anthony Davis expects to play against Blazers in crucial game Friday

LOS ANGELES — There was a moment when Anthony Davis took a last-second attempt at the shot clock buzzer, and tripped up over the Clippers’ scorers table as he backed into the sideline.

He spent a few tense seconds grabbing his right ankle, then retying his shoe. That one looked worse than it actually was, Davis said later.

What the crowd couldn’t see was his back, tensing up during the first timeout, then the second, as the Lakers’ deficit grew in Thursday’s game against the Clippers at Staples Center. And by the time he checked out around the 3-minute mark, Davis said, he felt tight enough that he couldn’t play on: “It got to the point where it was pretty tough.”

If Davis’ back was a tough obstacle, his absence was an insurmountable one for the short-handed Lakers, who were already skating on thin ice against the Clippers with him, but without him had to discard a good amount of their pre-game plans. Center Marc Gasol subbed in midway through the second quarter and was immediately pressured, as the Clippers forced two steals on their way to building a 20-plus-point lead.

But Davis said he doesn’t foresee the back spasms he suffered Thursday costing him a start on Friday night in Portland, where a critical tiebreaker with the Trail Blazers hangs in the balance. The Lakers already know they will be without LeBron James, Dennis Schröder and Talen Horton-Tucker for what Davis called “probably the biggest game” so far this season.

“I should be good to go tomorrow, based on how it’s feeling now,” said Davis, an eight-time All-Star. “But I’m gonna still wake up and test it out. But my plan is to still go tomorrow.”

Perhaps because of his stiffness, Davis’ game was not shaping up to be a good one: He was just 2 for 9 with four points in his 9-minute shift. That performance comes on the heels of perhaps Davis’ best game since his return from a nine-week injury absence – a 25-point effort against Denver, which included the game-clinching blocked shot.

For a Lakers team without its best playmakers against Portland, the question is even more pressing than usual: Which Davis will they get?

Coach Frank Vogel said he’s following the lead of the medical team in this case.

“We’re already trying to be responsible with his minutes,” he said. “Obviously, we’ll have to see how it feels tomorrow. It’s tough not having him in there, but obviously, you have to make the best decision for health.”

If the Lakers (37-29) – already one game behind fifth-place Dallas, which owns a tiebreaker over them – lose to the Blazers (37-29), it won’t bode well for their hopes to avoid the play-in tournament which begins on May 18, just two days after their final regular-season game. The seventh and eighth seeds must lose twice to be eliminated (playing each other, with the loser of that game facing the winner of the 9-10 game). As banged-up as the Lakers are, they don’t need more games tacked on to the regular season.

But Davis, who has spoken about avoiding the play-in games recently, acknowledged that the Lakers have a level of acceptance if it doesn’t swing their way.

“We don’t look at it as something bad,” he said. “To be honest, we need a lot of games, we need games to get back accustomed to each other, anyway. So, I mean, if it happens that way, it happens that way. Obviously, we don’t want to go that route. But if it happens, it happens.”

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12 indicted in alleged Southern California ‘green’ loan and mortgage fraud scheme

LOS ANGELES — A dozen people have been indicted in connection with an alleged mortgage fraud and “green” loan scheme that operated throughout Southern California and resulted in losses of about $15 million, the California Attorney General’s Office announced Wednesday.

The 133-count grand jury indictment, handed up April 26, alleges that the crimes occurred in Los Angeles, Riverside and Ventura counties.

The indictment charges the defendants with a variety of counts, including conspiracy, mortgage fraud, grand theft, identity theft, forgery, filing a false or forged document and money laundering.

The defendants allegedly exploited the Yrgene Energy Fund and Renew Funding, companies that provide funding to licensed contractors for energy- efficient home improvements for homeowners, and used false identities to get mortgage loans from conventional banks and hard money lenders, according to the Attorney General’s Office.

“The allegations against these defendants charge a pattern of disregard for the law and willingness to go as far as stealing the identities of the deceased just to further their scheme,” California Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a statement announcing the charges. “Our office will seek to hold these defendants accountable for their alleged actions.”

Those named in the indictment are: Tamara Dadyan, 39, Richard Ayvazyan, 42, Artur Ayvazyan, 41, Grigor Tatoian, 50, Andranik Petrosyan, 46, Arshak Bartoumian, 48, Artashes Martirosyan, 43, Lilit Malyan, 39, Lubia Carrillo, 41, Rosa Zarate, 49, Estephanie Reynoso, 31, and Vanessa Bell, 60.

Eleven of the defendants have pleaded not guilty, with Malyan due back in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom for arraignment May 18.

The case stemmed from a multi-year investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department, with assistance from the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Office of Inspector General.

The attorney general lauded the two agencies for “their work to put an end to an extensive, six-year fraud scheme that resulted in the theft of an estimated $15 million.”

“If you were a victim or have information please call 213-486-6979,” said a tweet from LAPD Capt. Lillian Carranza.

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Motivated Keyla Romo leads Orangewood Academy girls basketball past rival Fairmont Prep

GARDEN GROVE — Orangewood Academy’s girls basketball team seized the victory it needed Wednesday, May 5 to stay in contention for the San Joaquin League title.

Keyla Romo made sure it counted for her grandmother, too.

On a night in which baskets were hard to come by, the guard sank a career-best four 3-pointers to help the No. 5 Spartans knock off visiting No. 2 Fairmont Prep 44-29 on the same day her grandmother died in Mexico after a fight with COVID-19.

Romo pounded her chest after one of her three first-half 3-pointers and drilled one more with 2:41 left in the fourth quarter en route to 14 points, which matched Hannah Stines for game-high honors.

“I was emotionally broke but then I realized that she wanted me to play hard and play for her,” Romo said of her grandmother Maria, who lived in Chihuahua, Mexico. “That’s what motivated me.”

Orangewood Academy (5-3, 3-1) avenged an earlier loss to Fairmont Prep (8-5, 4-1) in league and now moves on to play Sage Hill (10-2, 1-1) in back-to-back games May 12-13.

Romo said her grandmother was a fixture of her childhood and also a positive influence during the injury struggles as a sophomore and junior. She suffered a torn ACL just prior to her sophomore season and missed most of her junior season after having a second surgery due to scar tissue.

“She said I was her star,” Romo said of her grandmother.

Romo added a team-high four steals to help lead the Spartans’ defense. Orangewood Academy opened in a 2-3 defense before switching to a matchup zone.

“She played the game of her life,” Orangewood Academy coach Leslie Aragon said of Romo, an uncommitted 5-foot-10 senior. “All of those 3s. She came out with energy. She keys a lot of the stuff on defense. .. She was tough as nails. I’m so proud of her.”

Romo shared the spotlight with Stines, who scored 10 points in the second half and added 15 rebounds. The junior highlighted the fourth quarter by diving for a loose ball and then driving in heavy traffic on the ensuing possession for a left-handed layup to give the Spartans a 42-29 lead.

Amaya Lacy added 10 points and nine rebounds for Orangewood Academy. Aixchel Hernandez also helped the defense with two blocks and nine rebounds.

The Spartans made 1 of 13 shots from the floor in the second quarter to lead 19-13 at intermission.

Makaila Glynn led Fairmont Prep with 12 points and three steals. The Huskies made 1 of their first 17 3 pointers.

“We got the shots we wanted but just couldn’t hit tonight,” Fairmont Prep coach Sara Brown said.

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Replace gas tax with more efficient, fairer mileage fee

California policymakers have spent years debating how to pay for road and highway repairs. President Biden’s current infrastructure plan brings that debate to the national stage.

Like its peers, California relies on a gas tax and registration fees to pay for infrastructure. But policymakers should cut registration fees and replace the gas tax with a better way to fund infrastructure: a mileage-based fee.

As the recent Pacific Research Institute study “Nickel and Dimed” shows, California drivers pay the nation’s highest gas tax. Registration fees are above those in Texas, Oregon, and many other states. But even though they spend hundreds of dollars a year in government-imposed taxes and fees, Californians have little to show for it. The American Society of Civil Engineers recently gave California roads a “D,” and the Reason Foundation’s Annual Highway Report ranked the state’s infrastructure an inexcusable forty-third out of fifty.

That shouldn’t come as a surprise. Gas tax and registration fee revenue doesn’t entirely go toward fixing roads and bridges. Some of it supports public transit; some subsidizes the California Highway Patrol; some goes to the Department of Motor Vehicles; and some trickles down to local governments, who use it to pay for social programs.

The gas tax and registration fees are also inefficient, unfair methods to generate infrastructure funding. Internal combustion engines are more economical than ever before, propelling vehicles farther while consuming less fuel. Traveling longer distances between fill-ups has environmental benefits, but it also means drivers pay less in gas taxes, even though they’re still adding just as much wear and tear to California’s infrastructure. Of course, electric vehicle owners pay no gas taxes at all, even though they use the same roads and bridges. California recently imposed a special fee on those vehicles, but the amount depends on its value, not how far the owner drives it.

With talk of rising infrastructure repair costs, it’s time for California policymakers to get things right. The state should cut its vehicle registration fee to the amount necessary to maintain ownership records, no more and no less. Most importantly, California should repeal its gas tax and replace it with a mileage-based fee. That way, people who drive more pay more, and those who drive less pay less. This is not a novel concept; the state tested it back in 2016.

But before rolling out a statewide, mileage-based fee, policymakers should make two critical enhancements. First, heavier vehicles should pay a higher fee. After all, a 5,000-pound SUV inflicts exponentially more wear and tear than a 3,000-pound sedan. Second, revenue from each driver’s fees should go back to fixing the infrastructure those drivers actually use. If 90 percent of a driver’s mileage is on the I-5, then 90 percent of their mileage fees should pay for maintaining the I-5. The easiest way to ensure that happens is with geotargeting – using GPS data to track which streets a vehicle uses and then earmarking fees for those streets only.

Of course, that raises understandable privacy concerns. But it’s worth noting that the necessary GPS data is no more invasive than the information many Californians willingly disclose to Facebook, Apple, and Google and that navigation apps already collect. Still, there’s an easy workaround: vehicle owners can opt-out of tracking and instead have their mileage fees allocated to fixing infrastructure within their zip code, and officials can allot a portion of that revenue to nearby highwaysl

California’s roads, highways, and bridges need costly repairs. Switching to a mileage-based fee could go a long way toward providing sufficient and stable funding to critical road improvements in communities across the state and the rest of the country.

Michael Thom is an associate professor at the University Southern California, an adjunct fellow in public finance at the Pacific Research Institute, and author of the PRI study, “Nickel and Dimed.”  Download the study at www.pacificresearch.org. 

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Whicker: Lakers play with the effort the rest of season will demand

At last, they played as if they recognized the gravity of the situation.

And, at least, they stopped falling.

The Lakers, in fact, reached up and regained sole possession of fifth place in the Western Conference standings on Monday night. If you’re wondering why that is so strut-worthy, you haven’t been around lately.

The purple-and-gold welcome mat that was defenseless against Sacramento and Toronto came to life and played like wounded underdogs Monday night, which is not their accustomed stance but fit quite well.

They beat the Denver Nuggets, who had won nine of 10, by a 93-89 score and distanced themselves, however temporarily, from the pre-playoff play-in tournament.

“It was just the heart, the togetherness,” said Wesley Matthews who, with Marc Gasol, escaped purgatory and served the Lakers well in the second half. “We put our feet in the ground, put them in the sand, whatever that saying is.

“Nobody is going to feel sorry for the Lakers. We have to build on what we did. You have to play with a sense of desperation. When you do that, the ball finds energy. That’s how we played tonight.”

Stripped of options without LeBron James and Dennis Schröder, the Lakers put Monday’s game into the mitts of Anthony Davis, who had missed 11 of 16 shots in Sunday’s eyesore loss to the Raptors. They placed him on the left side of the line and made Nikola Jokic and, later, JaVale McGee play honest defense, and Davis finally looked commanding, with 16 first-half points. He wound up with 25, but his biggest play was an improbable, Beamon-esque lunge that managed to deflect a 3-point shot by Facuno Campazzo at the end.

Frazzled for most of the game, Denver uncorked a 14-2 run in the fourth quarter and actually could have gotten to within one point on Michael Porter Jr.’s 3-pointer. It was disallowed because Campazzo was whistled, oddly, for an illegal pick on Davis.

Luck also visited the Lakers, for the first time in a while, when Jalen Horton-Tucker drove into the lane, ahead by two. He offered an off-balance reverse layup that was kept alive by Gasol, who was being blocked out by Jokic. Horton-Tucker then grabbed it and scored for a four-point lead with 15.1 seconds left, and rolled his eyes in gratitude.

“I’ve got to thank God for the way that worked out,” Horton-Tucker said.

Gasol played 17 minutes with 10 points and seven rebounds and a lovely, two-handed outlet pass that Matthews handled and converted like a wide receiver. Matthews hit all three of his shots, including a 3-pointer from Gasol’s pass. They’ve faded deep into the Lakers’ woodwork lately, but on Monday they played like veterans do in playoff situations. Gasol now terms himself “Mr. Wolf,” the fixer played by Harvey Keitel in “Pulp Fiction”, a guy who cleans everything up.

“It seems like we’ve played almost 1,000 different styles this year with guys being out,” Matthews said. “Basketball is like life. It’s unpredictable. You go on with it or it’ll go on without you. We have to get back to scrapping and clawing.”

On Sunday, James had said the biggest issue for the Lakers was “health.” He still is a proponent of the Messiah theory, that he and Davis will bring fresh, if scarred, legs into the playoffs and heal the Lakers with magic hands.

Betonline.com decreed that the Lakers were 7-2 choices to win the NBA title. Those are the shortest odds in the West, and they were posted before it was learned that Schröder will be out for 10 to 14 days.

James’ cryptic estimate that “I’m never going to be 100 percent” was difficult to un-hear, considering that he was back on the court 20 games after his high ankle sprain. He was adequate but not royal against Sacramento and Toronto, and then he left halfway through the fourth quarter Sunday, not to play again until Thursday against the Clippers, if then.

James also made it clear he opposed the play-in tournament for teams that finish 7 through 10 in each conference, saying its inventor “should be fired.”

That’s not a nice thing to say about Commissioner Adam Silver, and it also contradicts the way James viewed the play-in from afar, before it threatened to include him.

In a nutshell, No. 7 plays No. 8 and the winner gets into the playoffs as the 7-seed. The loser plays the winner of a knockout game between No. 9 and No. 10. The survivor of that also gets into the playoffs as the 8-seed.

It’s not an exercise fit for a King. But if a team with James and Davis can’t win one of two games against the likes of Memphis, San Antonio and Golden State, maybe a few others should be fired.

Speaking of “others,” the accompanying Lakers have left the door yawning. The injuries were the cue for Kyle Kuzma to play All-Star basketball. He largely has not. Andre Drummond hasn’t had time to get fully assimilated. He will get that time if the Lakers avoid the play-in and gain valuable practice time.

The Messiah theory is also hard to accept for those who have watched the West lately. In Phoenix, Chris Paul looks more like an MVP with each victory, and Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton are responding accordingly. In Utah, things have been rockier with Donovan Mitchell hurt, but he will return for the playoffs, and so will Bojan Bogdanovic, who wasn’t around last season when the Jazz took a 3-1 series lead over Denver and then lost.

Then there’s Denver, which might have the toughest chin in the league. Jamal Murray went down with an ACL and the Nuggets won nine of their next 10, with Michael Porter Jr. averaging 25.4 points. If that continues, Jokic can start practicing his multi-lingual MVP speeches.

“We’ve had a lot of guys contribute,” said Michael Malone, the Denver coach, “but this is just an endorsement of Nikola Jokic’s MVP candidacy. He has put us on his back.”

Note to James and Davis, in case they’re tempted: That’s just an expression.

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