Although it was senior night for the Buena Park Coyotes, a sophomore led their team to victory.
Guard Cameron Dashiell provided key plays for the Coyotes throughout the night and led the team in scoring with 21 points in a 66-49 win over Sunny Hills.
The game ended with a double digit gap between the two Freeway League rivals, but the first quarter suggested the game would be a closely contested matchup.
Within the first three minutes of the start of the game the Coyotes (21-4, 6-3) were off to a hot start.
Buena park went on an 8-0 run, partly fueled by Dashiell’s first 3-pointer of the night, to jump out to a 10-2 lead in the opening minutes of the game.
The Lancers (16-11, 5-4) did not let the game get out of reach early on and responded with a 6-0 run to cut the Coyotes lead to two.
Buena Park was unable to respond with a run of their own but led 14-10 at the end of the quarter.
Dashiell scored the Coyotes first four points of the quarter to put them up by six at one point.
Propelled by back-to-back baskets from the field by Senior Luke Ross the Lancers once again went on a 6-0 run and this time tied the game up.
The teams were only tied for a few moments due to Coyotes player Gianni Michael scoring six straight unanswered points to put Buena Park back up by six.
Senior Ryan Shaw responded for the Lancers with four straight points but a last second 2-pointer in the paint by Coyotes players Justan Taylor gave Buena park a four point lead at the half.
The first quarter of the second half saw the pattern of the Coyotes starting to pull away and the Lancers keeping it close come to an end.
Dashiell scored the Coyotes first nine points of the second half through three straight three pointers which helped spark a game changing 24-3 third quarter run.
The Lancers could not muster a response to Dashells three straight 3-pointers and instead on many instances turned the ball over.
Sunny Hills turnover troubles in the third quarter were rampant and at one point in the quarter they turned the ball over on three straight possessions.
Buena Park capitalized on the Lancers poor ball retention abilities and scored off several turnovers in the third to build their double digit lead.
Along with handling possession poorly the Lancers could not get anything going from the field after the Coyotes big quarter from the field began.
Three-pointers were more often than not missing the rim for the Lancers and two-pointers were not feasible either during the last five minutes of the quarter.
“We got a little down on ourselves and that was pretty much the turning point of the game,” said Sunny Hill’s Head Coach Joe Ok about a stretch in the third where his team went scoreless and the Coyotes were hot from the field.
Ryan Shaw provided the Lancers only three points in the final five minutes of the quarter through the free throw line.
Defensively Sunny Hills struggled to prevent several baskets in the paint in the quarter and gave up more than a few offensive rebounds in the half.
Going into the fourth quarter the Coyotes were up 52-32 and in position to comfortably close out the game.
The Lancers came into the fourth quarter with greater composure and offense than in the third, but Buena Park did not slow down.
For every shot The Lancers knocked down in fourth that they were unable to in the third the Coyotes almost always responded with a bucket of their own.
Dashiell added five more points in the final quarter, including his fifth 3-pointer of the game, to top off his big night for Buena Park while sophomore Luke Hosozawa led an improved Lancers offensive effort in the fourth quarter with six points.
“Its special but we don’t want to revel in it too much,” said Senior Cedric Dashiell II, who considers the Coyotes next game very important to securing second place in the Freeway League, and later said when asked about the possibility of having played his last home game said, “if it is our last then we went out the right way and I’m proud of my guys.”
Buena Park’s final Freeway League match is on Thursday at Troy. Sunny Hills will have an opportunity to secure third place in the Freeway League when they face off against fourth placed La Habra on Thursday at home.