La Habra boys basketball too strong for Sonora in Freeway League battle – Orange County Register

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LA HABRA — The La Habra boys basketball team made its quest for the Freeway League championship a bit easier with a 60-46 victory over rival Sonora in a key league contest Friday at Sonora High School.

The Highlanders (19-4, 5-0), who are the top-ranked team in Division 3AA of the CIF Southern Section, are undefeated after the first round of league play and have established themselves as the clear favorites to win the league title.

Sonora (16-7, 3-2) began the week as the top challenger to La Habra for the title, but after a one-point loss to Troy on Tuesday and Friday’s loss, the Raiders are now likely battling for second place over the remaining five league games.

“We were all getting hyped in the locker room and we came out here to win this game and we did,” said La Habra sophomore point guard Acen Jimenez, who scored 18 points. “It was all hype leading up. We were all getting excited and locked in. We came here, we did our job, we won the game.”

Jaedon Anderson also scored 18 for the Highlanders, including four 3-pointers.

La Habra junior Sebastion Esparza scored 15 of his 17 points on 3-pointers and the Highlanders had 10 3-pointers as a team.

The Highlanders had lost four in a row over two seasons against the Raiders, who went 10-0 last season and advanced to the quarterfinal round in the Division 2A playoffs.

“Personally, I’ve been waiting for this game for a whole year,” Anderson said. “After losing two last year, we knew we had to come back this year and we knew we had a shot, so we did everything we could to just compete and come out on top.”

Sonora’s Jonah Kim led all players with 21 points and made several big shots to keep the Raiders close.

The Highlanders led 28-21 late in the second period but a pair of 3-pointers from Kim in the final seconds of the quarter made it much closer.

La Habra was ahead 41-31 in the third when Kim hit a 3-pointer and a two-pointer on consecutive possessions and then hit a 3-pointer at the end of the quarter to get the Raiders to within seven points.

Kim opened the fourth with a basket and it appeared the Raiders were going to make a run, but La Habra came right back with a 9-0 run of its own, scoring on four consecutive possessions, to put the Highlanders ahead by 14.

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