1st Section Title For Maranatha

Maranatha of Pasadena wins its first boys basketball CIF Southern Section title in school history with a 59-53 victory over Campbell Hall of North Hollywood in 4A title game. Star guards for both teams score 25 points, but it’s the Minutemen role players who come up big.

Star guard Tyler Dorsey has put up a dizzying array of numbers in his lone season at Maranatha of Pasadena and throughout his high school career. Nine refers to the number of times he’s scored 40 or more points in a game and 15 refers to the amount of times he’s netted 30 so far in 2014-15.

In the end, however, the only number that matters is one, which refers to the amount of CIF Southern Section championships Maranatha has now won following its 59-53 victory over Campbell Hall of North Hollywood in the CIFS Southern Section Division 4A title game played Friday night at Azusa Pacific University.

“We’ve played all season long to win a CIF (Southern Section) championship,” said the Oregon-bound Dorsey, which finished with 25 points, eight rebounds and three steals in the six-point win. “We hit some big free throws and everyone came through.

Tyler Dorsey of Maranatha could score near 1,000 points in his team makes a deep run at the CIF D4 state title Photo: Nick Koza/sportsamp.com.

Tyler Dorsey of Maranatha could score near 1,000 points if his team makes a deep run at the CIF D4 state title Photo: Nick Koza/sportsamp.com.

Aaron Holiday is a great competitor and I’m sure I going to see him at UCLA.”

Holiday, Campbell Hall’s star guard, also finished with 25 points while adding five assists. It wasn’t the cleanest played game, as Dorsey and Holiday combined for 15 turnovers, but both made big plays for their respective team.

The difference in the game was the presence of junior center Trevor Stanback of Maranatha, who missed the regular season with a health ailment, and the clutch play of Maranatha’s Sean Romero and Tey Williams. Stanback controlled the paint with 13 rebounds and six blocked shots. With the highly-regarded junior in the lineup and no teams that competed in the CIFSS Open Division playoffs likely to bounce back to Division IV for the SoCal regional playoffs, the Minutemen are legitimate contenders to represent the South in the CIF Division IV state title game.

Romero, a 5-foot-8 junior guard, nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 40 seconds remaining to give Maranatha (19-9 on-court record) a 53-49 victory. Williams, a 5-foot-9 senior, made two free throws with 31.9 seconds remaining to give the Minutemen a 55-51 lead and two more clutch shots from the charity stripe to make the score 57-53 with 13.1 seconds remaining.

Williams and Romero each finished with 12 points. The game’s other other double-digit scorer with 10 points was junior guard Jordan Cohen of Campbell Hall (24-9).

For Maranatha coach Tim Tucker, he’s now won five CIFSS titles as a player and a coach. Tucker played on two title-winning teams at Pasadena High School in the late 1970’s and he won two section titles in his 18 seasons as the head coach at his alma mater before moving over to Maranatha for the 2013-14 season.

Even though Dorsey didn’t even hit for his season scoring average (he’s netted 904 points in 28 games for a 33.9 ppg clip), he was ecstatic to get the one victory he’s team really wanted in a roller coaster season. Friday night’s win made his Thursday selection to the 2015 Jordan Brand Classic national all-star game in New York on April 17 that much sweeter.

Dorsey was one of two Californian’s selected along with Bishop O’Dowd’s Ivan Rabb.

“I’m really blessed to get selected for the Jordan Game to play against the best players in the country,” Dorsey said. “I want to focus on finishing out the season strong.”

Another number that stands out for Dorsey is three — two CIFSS titles he’s won and the CIF Division II state title he won last season at St. John Bosco of Bellflower. In 2013, he was part of a Bosco team that captured the CIFSS Division 3AA crown.

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