Redlands East Valley High School disrupted the season home opener for the Yucaipa High School boys basketball team with a decisive 77-46 victory in a Citrus Belt League contest on Friday. Josh Figueroa, Logan Dunn, and Kobe Cano provided an early 7-0 lead for the Thunderbirds (8-8, 0-2 CBL). A three-pointer from Bryan Joaquin at the buzzer to end the first quarter kept Yucaipa within reason.
But an impressive hot streak from REV's Sebastian Zerba began to put the game out of reach. Within a four-minute span of the first quarter, Zerba
scored 12 points including three long-range 3's. REV held a 21-10 lead after one quarter. Zerba totaled five of REV's 11 three-point baskets in the game and finished with a game-high 23 points. REV improved to 10-5, 2-0 CBL.
Yucaipa was able to contain Zerba but that left Brent Young open to score 11 of his 17 points
in the second quarter to give REV a 41-17 lead with two minutes left in the half. YHS closed the half with baskets by Taylor Gordon, free throws from Brandon Thiess, and five more points from Cano to get Yucaipa within 43-24.
Yucaipa displayed its potential in a four-minute span of the third quarter by cutting the lead to 53-38 with one minute, 23 seconds left. The Thunderbirds recorded eight assists during that run with Tyler Florence getting two along with four points. Thiess also contributed two of his five assists. Josh Figueroa assisted on Dunn’s second three-pointer of the game, who was the only Thunderbird in double figures with ten points. Thiess finished with nine points and Cano had seven, including two, 3-pointers.
However, Yucaipa kept hurting itself by making turnovers and by missing too many layups. REV coach Bill Berich said afterwards that he did not expect such a margin of victory. "Some teams put their heads down and sort of give up when they get behind in game like this," said Berich. "Mike Allen (YHS coach) continued a full court press with 15 seconds left in the game. You will never see a Yucaipa team give up."
Allen could not be reached for comment but Berich continued to explain the game turned on Yucaipa after a series of missed layups in the first quarter. Plus the 19-0 run by his team in the first quarter. Berich said Zerba has gone on such shooting streaks before and has scored as many as 32 points this season.
“Do we respect Yucaipa? Yes, we do,” added Berich. “The next time we play them they will play their butts off.”