St. Anthony boys basketball top Murrieta Valley in OT to win Artesia Winter Classic – Press Enterprise

LAKEWOOD — The St. Anthony boys basketball team overcame their toughest test of the young season by going on a 9-0 run in overtime to defeat Murrieta Valley 70-61 in the Artesia Winter Classic tournament championship game Saturday night.

The Saints improved to 5-0 after their first two weeks of nonleague high school basketball play in the CIF Southern Section with wins against Long Beach Poly, Paramount, Artesia, Downey and Murrieta Valley. St. Anthony’s nine-point win against Murrieta Valley at Artesia High was their closest margin of victory so far this season, as they had won their first four games by at least 26 points.

Saints guard Quincy Phillips finished the game with 16 points and was recognized as the tournament’s most valuable player by St. Anthony coach Alan Mitchell.

“Quincy Phillips is our leader, he earned it with his performance and for him to have the adversity (Saturday night) with the foul trouble and still defend,” Mitchell said. “The first few days throughout this event he was leading us in scoring for the most part.”

Saints forward Aman Haynes finished with 13 points and also earned all-tournament recognition for his offensive performance.

“I’ve been going through a lot lately and it just feels really special to me that I’ve been able to perform and work for my team,” Haynes said.

St. Anthony led 4-0 early. Murrieta Valley guard Jacob Casillas responded with his own 5-0 run, giving the Nighthawks a 5-4 lead, which ended up being their only lead of the game.

St. Anthony’s Phillips and Haynes combined to score 10 points in the first quarter. The Saints led 16-8 heading into the second quarter.

St. Anthony extended their lead in the second quarter with a 13-0 run that took up half of the quarter. The Saints’ Joseph Wicker, Donovan Pitts, and Jared Lloyd Jr. each made a three-pointer in the first half, which sent St. Anthony into halftime with a commanding 32-15 lead.

However, Murrieta Valley clawed back with an incredible second-half effort, led by senior forward Collin Ingram, who scored 23 of his team-high 26 points after halftime.

Ingram’s 11 points led the way for the Nighthawks in the third quarter.

Murrieta Valley followed Ingram’s surge and outscored St. Anthony 27-13 in the third quarter, which cut the Saints’ lead to 45-42 heading into the fourth.

Despite Phillips’ strong fourth-quarter performance with nine points, Ingram continued his hot streak, putting up another 12 points in the fourth quarter.

With ten seconds left in the fourth, St. Anthony led 59-58. Phillips received a long inbound pass and drove to the basket for a layup, which put the Saints up 61-58.

Just as things seemed over, Murrieta Valley point guard Jacob Casillas quickly inbounded the ball and passed it to Ingram who made a buzzer-beating three-pointer as time expired to take it to overtime with the game tied at 61.

St. Anthony stepped up their defensive intensity in overtime, holding Murrieta Valley scoreless for four minutes. The Saints, who went on to score nine points in overtime, jumped out to a quick two-point lead early in overtime with a layup by forward Amaan Zavahir. St. Anthony followed what would end up being Zavahir’s game-winning layup with a series of free throws to cap off the 70-61 victory.

“The comradery, the unity that we have, the composure. It’s one of the pillars of our program and it’s to be composed,” Mitchell said. “We knew that (Murrieta Valley) was going to come back and fight… it was just a matter of sustaining the runs and being composed.”

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