Rio Stuns L Camino for Second Time This Year

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Josh Zezzo

Mitchell Dixon protects the ball against an El Camino player

Josh Zezzo, Mirada Staff

Hundreds of people packed the Rio gym, for the first of two matchups between Rio Americano and El Camino. Both teams started the game ice cold offensively and struggled to hit open shots and convert in close range.

The Raiders came out with an early edge on the glass, taking a 9-7 lead after the first quarter.

El Camino went on a six minute run, El Camino held Rio to just 10 points in the second quarter, while they notched 14.

The Eagles ended the half with a slim 21-19 lead, but Rio had an answer in the second half.

El Camino came out of the gates fast and started to go on a run, but a big three-pointer by senior Jarred Florentino kept Rio within range.

 

The Rio defense stepped up, and Rio started to build a run of their own.Two fast breaks cut the Eagles lead to one with under two minutes to go in the third. A Rio run made the lead 42-36 in favor of Rio. 

An El Camino free throw gave them their first points in over seven minutes. 

Both teams went the final five minutes exchanging baskets to keep it a one possession game. 

The Raiders had a three point lead with three seconds remaining but El Camino had possession.

A dramatic side step three from freshman Kiku Parker who was guarded by Florentino tied the game sending it to overtime. 

The Raiders had answers for all of El Camino’s shots, and Rio found themselves with another three point lead with five seconds left, and the Eagles had the ball.

Freshman Ivan Soto from El Camino found a hole and had just enough time to hit yet another game tying three pointer to put this game into another overtime. 

With the second overtime following almost the same script, still nobody could find the upper hand, sending the game to a third OT.. 

Rio got off to a slow start in the third overtime, and the Raiders crowd started to lose hope as they were down five with just one minute left 

Rio came back, and trailed by one point. 

Forced to foul, Rio sent the Eagles to the free throw line where they missed the first free throw, but hit the second one, giving Rio a chance to tie or win. 

With just seven seconds remaining, Rio needed a miracle. 

Senior Alex Vryonis had failed to convert on three inbounds. On the last inbound of the game he took the ball up the court past the nervous Rio student section. 

The Eagles defense committed to Alex and left senior Denzel Harris wide open in the corner. Vryonis found Harris, who hit the game winner at the buzzer and left El Camino stunned.