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Boys Basketball

San Marcos Makes More Basketball History With First CIF State Tournament Victory

Royals pull away from Granada Hills Charter before packed Maury Halleck Gym

Ryan Godges of San Marcos drives the lane and puts a shot over Onaje Higgins of Granada Hills. Godges scored 22 points to lead the Royals to their first CIF SoCal Regional win.
Ryan Godges of San Marcos drives the lane and puts a shot over Onaje Higgins of Granada Hills. Godges scored 22 points to lead the Royals to their first CIF SoCal Regional win. (Gary Kim photo)

San Marcos shooting guard Ryan Godges likes to use the phrase, “We all have each other’s back.”

Godges and David Frohling did a nice job picking up the slack when point guard Stef Korfas, got into early foul trouble and eventually fouled out. The duo combined 33 points and handled the ball against a trapping defense by Granada Hills Charter, leading the Royals to a 67-52 victory in a first-round game of the CIF State Tournament SoCal Division 2 Regionals at a jam-packed Maury Halleck Gym on Wednesday night.

Jackson Stormo and Ryan Godges battle with Onaje Higgins of Granada Hills for a rebound. Click to view larger
Jackson Stormo and Ryan Godges battle with Onaje Higgins of Granada Hills for a rebound. (Gary Kim photo)

The win — the first regional playoff win in program history — gives the Southern Section 2A Division champions a 27-6 record and advances them to a quarterfinal-round game at Cajon in San Bernardino on Saturday night at 6 p.m. Cajon, a 2AA semifinalist, defeated Valencia, 67-56.

Godges led San Marcos with 22 points, center Jackson Stormo scored 21 and Frohling added 13 for the Royals, who last Saturday won their first CIF basketball title.

"It's hard to get up for a game (after winning the CIF title) but I think having a crowd like this helped us do that," said an appreciative San Marcos coach Landon Boucher.  

The ball handling of Godges and Frohling against the intense defensive pressure applied by a quick Granada Hills team made a huge difference. They admirably filled the role Korfas handles.

“Me and Godges have played a lot against presses and we know what we got to do and pick it up,” Frohling said. “We got to pick up the slack whenever it’s needed.”

Said Godges: “It’s all about staying calm together as a team no matter what happened, no matter what the refs called. Just remain calm, play with composure and we’ll pull it out.”

They did just that against the L.A. City Section Open Division team. With Korfas on the bench, the Royals expanded a four-point first-quarter lead to eight in the second quarter. Godges drove hard to the rim to make it 26-19 and he finished the quarter with a three-pointer.

“We’ve done it before,”  Boucher said of playing without Korfas against a high-pressure defense. “I’m thankful our team has been through that, getting up the floor, especially against full-court pressure, without Stefan.”

San Marcos also played tough defense. Beau Allen rose above the rim to fly swat a Granada Hills shot that drove the Royals’ fans crazy. Stormo altered several Highlander shots.

“My coach stressed to me which way each player was going and to watch the finish,” Stormo said. “Their lefty, No. 0 (Luke Alivar) wanted to go left, so I wanted to shade the left side of the court for him. And a couple of other guys always want to go right to lay it up,  so I was able to shade that way. I may not be able to get a block but I’ll alter the shot.”

Alivar led the Highlanders (19-12) with 15 points, 11 coming in the first half,  and Aaron Dozier had 10 points.

“They were well coached,” Boucher said. “They put together a game plan that gave them the best chance to beat us. They had no choice but to foul and reach a lot. Hats off to our guys for getting the job done.”

The Highlanders had two players foul out.

Stormo started the third quarter scoring seven points and Korfas made a driving layup to put the Royals up by 14, 40-26.

Granada Hills made a run at the end of the quarter, with Jesse Bannout going coast to coast for a layup, Joel Carrillo coming off the bench to hit a pair of shots, including a three-pointer, and Onaje Higgins finishing a driving layup to make it a 47-40 game.

The Highlanders took the ball inside a couple of times early in the fourth quarter, but Stormo was there to force missed shots.

“Defensively we did a great job playing team D,” said Godges.

Frohling and Godges got the Royals going in the fourth quarter. Godges scored on back-to-back shots, including a three-pointer, to increase the lead to 52-40.

The Highalnders got as close as 54-49 with four minutes to play, but San Marcos outscored them 13-4 the rest of the way. Frohling sealed the win with a three-pointer off an Allen assist for a 63-50 lead with 1:38 to go.

Said Frohling: “They were playing pretty scrappy defense and were doubling (us), and we just kept finding the open guy. And that’s what got us the win; we were just hitting shots.”

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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