Boys basketball advances to semifinals of CIF D4A

After just squeaking by 13 seed Whittier Christian in quarterfinals of CIF D4A playoffs, the Griffins pummeled Crean Lutheran in the pavilion Wednesday by a final score of 73-35.

Crean Lutheran, who beat Bosco Tech previously in an upset, had trouble containing the Griffins’ three-point shooters, especially freshman Mike Meadows who finished with 30 points, 21 of which came from beyond the arc.

Meadows, the Griffins’ second player to land in double digits, had one of the best games of his young career. He put on a mirage of shooting from all areas of the court with two drives to the hoop, a floater, and seven three pointers.

Starting for the Griffins was its core, senior captains Brendon Ferguson, Austin Butler and freshmen Kihei Clark and Meadows, and to fit into the fifth spot, senior Josh Rosen started the game after being named MVP in the Whittier Christian game on February 20.

A hot start for senior Mateen Zar and Butler led the team to an early 10-point lead in the first quarter. Zar finished with 10 points and Butler with eight points as well as a couple offensive rebounds and six assists.

Clark, despite his two early fouls, finished with nine points and a couple fancy no-look passes to Meadows on the perimeter. Essential bench play from Zar, Rosen, and senior Nick Cashdan proved to be too deep for the roster of Crean Lutheran.

6’4” sophomore Michael Bagatourian, for the Saints, had a solid performance but he could not single handedly split the pressuring perimeter defense of the Griffins. The Saints, usually a three-point shooting team, failed to find a way to penetrate the defense and get open shots.

The Griffins forced turnovers throughout the game and intercepted sloppy passes that led to easy baskets on the other end of the floor.

The Griffins’ defense held the Saints to just 35 points, outscoring their recent three opponents by 87 points.

Juniors Nishanth Muthsamy, Caleb Martin, and Matthew Soufer as well as freshman Kanoa Johnson got some playing time at the end of the game, and Soufer hit a three pointer with one minute left to seal the deal in the packed gym against the 24-5 Crean Lutheran Saints.

The team plays Aaron Holiday and second-seeded Campbell Hall in the semi-finals tonight in gym at Providence High School in Burbank.