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."
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
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.