Sunny Hills boys basketball team beats Fullerton 72-65 to keep playoff hopes alive


Sunny Hills boys basketball forward senior Emmanuel Seddoh (left) searches for a teammate to pass the ball to while being double-teamed during the second quarter of the Lancers’ 72-65 victory at home over Fullerton Feb. 4. Photo taken by Accolade photographer Brianna Zafra

Facing playoff elimination and a fifth straight loss, the Sunny Hills boys basketball team overcame a nine-point deficit in the third quarter to beat Fullerton 72-65 on Senior Night Feb. 4 at the Sunny Hills gym.

“It was a great win overall, especially for our seniors,” head coach Joe Ok said. “This season we haven’t had a lot of wins, and we’ve lost a lot of close games, but coming from behind tonight felt really good after some of the tough losses we’ve had.”

Down 39-30 a few minutes into the second half, the Lancers — led by guard senior Peter Park’s 29 points — blitzed the Indians on an 18-2 scoring run to outscore Fullerton 27-11 in the third quarter.

“It felt really good to turn the tide of the game,” said Park, who had 14 points in the third quarter. “Hearing the bench and the crowd get hyped really helped us finish the game strong.”

Ok commended Park for his career performance at his last regular-season home game.

“Tonight was an example of what [Park] can do so it was huge for him to step up when we really needed him,” Ok said.

After falling behind 10-2 at the beginning of the game, Fullerton (4-23, 0-9 Freeway League) clawed its way back to a six-point lead at the half after outscoring Sunny Hills (13-14, 2-7 Freeway League) 19-10 in the second quarter.

The Lancers struck back in the second half with strong defensive play and a flurry of fastbreak layups from Park and guard senior Steven Yoo. 

Eight fourth-quarter points from forward senior Emmanuel Seddoh and another six points from Park helped held off the Indians, who trimmed the lead to five at one point in the final period.

“Being able to go up after halftime felt good because we were able to get all of our seniors some playing time,” said Seddoh, who finished the night with 12 points, 11 rebounds and his 13th double-double of the year.

To be eligible for an at-large berth in the CIF-Southern Section playoffs, Sunny Hills will need to knock off Troy (13-14, 3-6 Freeway League) — which also needs a win to be playoff-eligible — on the road on Thursday, Feb. 6. The last time the teams met, the Warriors beat the Lancers 53-50 on a three-point shot that went in as the clock hit double zero.

“Whether we make the playoffs or not, we want to finish the season on a win after how they beat us last time,” Ok said. “Our guys will be ready to go over there and even the score.”