OAKDALE -- Eric Chavez was the star Monday night, but the Johansen High senior was quick to point out that he couldn't have done it alone.
"I was getting a lot of my points off a play we call Memphis, but what makes that play work is the screens the other guys are setting," said Chavez, after scoring a season-high 23 points in a 59-55 win over Hughson at the Oakdale Rotary Classic.
Johansen faces Calaveras in today's fifth-place game at 5 p.m., after Hughson plays Riverbank for seventh at 3:30.
"Deven (Cannon) and Derek (Singer) were setting screens and I was getting the ball in the corner, giving me the choice to shoot from there or drive to the basket," Chavez said. "They got me some good open looks."
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The 5-foot-11-inch guard scored 12 in the first quarter, giving the Vikings a 21-10 lead, and provided key plays in the final seconds to thwart Hughson's comeback.
The Huskies sliced Johansen's lead to 58-55 with 12 seconds left, but Chavez hit a free throw with 8 seconds left to make it a two-possession game. Instead of turning around and running downcourt after his free throw, Chavez swiped the inbounds pass and the Vikings ran out the final few seconds.
"We had a conversation (Monday) morning about being aggressive and staying positive," said Chavez, whose Vikings had fallen to 3-9 after faltering in the final minutes of Saturday's first-round loss to Los Banos. "We all agreed that we're tired of losing."
CALAVERAS 53, RIVERBANK 36 -- Devin White scored eight of his 13 points in the second half as the Redskins pulled away. Aaron Gillis (10 points) and Daniel Perez each hit two 3-pointers to give Calaveras a 30-21 halftime lead.
LOS BANOS 43, OAKDALE 28 -- Rubal Sangha (19 points) and Andrae Jones (12) provided the offense and the Tigers won their fourth in a row in the semifinal. Los Banos lost eight of its first nine games.
The Tigers face Enochs and 6-8 Marcus Bell in tonight's 8 p.m. championship game.
The Tigers used a 15-6 second quarter to take control. That gave Los Banos a 23-11 lead, as it used a zone defense with plenty of trapping to keep Oakdale from establishing an offensive tempo.
Oakdale, which plays Davis for third place at 6:30, capitalized on its defense to hold Los Banos to four points in the third quarter and was within 27-20 with 8 minutes to go.
Sangha scored six on the final period, however, as the Tigers were able to pull away.
Bee staff writer Richard T. Estrada can be reached at email@example.com or 578-2300.