13th-seeded Sunny Hills boys basketball team upsets 4th-seeded Monte Vista 68-51 in first round of CIF state playoffs


Henry Lee

Junior point guard Chad Nguyen dribbles toward a Garden Grove player Feb 22. Even though the Lancers lost their semifinal CIF-Southern Section Division 4 game, the team won its first state CIF playoff game, since 2004, on March 1.

Henry Lee , Web Editor-in-Chief

Despite falling short of reaching the CIF-Southern Section Division 4 championship round last week, the 13th-seeded Sunny Hills boys basketball team upset fourth-seeded Monte Vista 68-51 in the first round of state CIF playoffs Tuesday, March 1, at Spring Valley in San Diego County, 

“It was a great win for us,” boys basketball head coach Joe Ok said. “After what happened in the semifinals against Garden Grove last week, I was happy for us to be able to bounce back and pick up our first state tournament win since 2004.”

Ok credited his players for neutralizing Monte Vista’s star players and in turn making their shots at their end of the court during their away game, which the Lancers led from start to finish.

“We were prepared well on how to guard them,” said point guard junior Chad Nguyen, who scored 14 points. “Everybody was making their shots, and we were able to get their best players into foul trouble.”

With the road win, the Lancers (25-8) will once again have to travel Thursday, March 3, to play fifth-seeded Millikan High School (16-18) in Long Beach at 6 p.m. 

School officials have also announced a rooter bus available to take students to Millikan at 4:30 p.m. with an expected return time of 8:30 p.m., according to an email today, March 2, from assistant principal Hilda Arredondo.

Sunny Hills and 16th-seeded Valley Torah (28-3) – an all-boys Jewish school in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles County – are the only two lower seeds remaining in their bracket. 

If both teams win, they would square off in the semis on Saturday, March 5.