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Prep Basketball: Johal a one-man wrecking crew

LIVINGSTON -- Harnarinder Johal signaled his intent on Friday night with his first shot of the game.

The 6-foot-5 Livingston center spun from the left side of the block and bounced his shot attempt off of the side of the rim.

Before Patterson could even react, Johal was already in the air, laying in his rebound.

Even when the senior missed, he was there to get his own putback.

Patterson had no means of stopping either scenario.

Johal finished with a game-high 32 points, 18 rebounds and seven blocks, and Livingston bounced back from its first Western Athletic Conference loss of the season with a convincing 72-60 victory over Patterson.

"This was basically a must-win," Johal said. "Anything can happen, but coming back from a loss to Central (Catholic) and Patterson would have been really difficult."

Johal played like Livingston's season was on the line.

The senior scored 15 of Livingston's 20 points in the first quarter and pulled down seven rebounds.

Unfortunately for Angelo Naldi's squad, the second quarter wasn't as kind.

Johal received a technical foul 15 seconds into the second quarter when his attempted slam dunk bounced off the back of the iron.

Johal slammed home the rebound while still hanging from the rim to draw the technical.

Thirty seconds later, he was relegated to the bench for the rest of the half after picking up his third foul.

Led by Felix Mapanda (20 points) and Justin Nuckolls (15 points), Patterson (2-2 WAC, 11-4) seemed poised for a big run.

Livingston (3-1 WAC, 12-3) absorbed Patterson's initial surge and -- behind guards Josh Avina (11 points), Gurpreet Sangha (10) and Brian Rivera (nine) -- actually expanded Livingston's lead to 39-31 at the half.

"It's obviously a different game when (Johal) isn't on the court," Avina said. "We were able to move the ball around well and find some open guys."

Patterson tightened things back up in the third quarter, but Livingston put the game away with a 9-2 run to open the fourth.

The victory was all the more impressive with Livingston going just 13 for 33 from the free-throw line.

"In this league you have to win at home," Naldi said. "You have to beat the teams you're more talented than on the road and you have to steal a few road wins from the better teams along the way.

"This was an excellent response coming off of the loss to Central Catholic."

Western Athletic Conference


At Livingston

Patterson 13 18 16 13 -- 60

Livingston 20 19 13 20 -- 72

PATTERSON -- Kent Foster 13, Daniel Reza 3, Felix Mapanda 20, Ronyea Ellington 2, Wyatt Young 3, Justin Nuckolls 15, Emmanuel Brooks 2. Totals 18 22-37 60.

LIVINGSTON -- Brian Alverez 1, Josh Avina 11, Brian Rivera 9, Harnarinder Johal 32, Luis Castellanos 3, Dorian Campos 4, Gurpreet Sangha 10, Derrick Griffith 2. Totals 28 13-33 72.

3-pointers: Patterson 2 (Young, Reza), Livingston 3 (Rivera, Castellanos, Sangha); Total Fouls: Patterson 25, Livingston; Fouls Outs: Patterson (Foster, Brooks); Livingston (); Technicals: Livingston (Johal); Flagrant: Patterson (Young).

Records: Patterson 2-2 WAC, 11-4; Livingston 3-1 WAC, 12-3.

JV -- Patterson 71-42.