Kicking off the first league game of the season, the Dominguez Dons rallied from a 19-point deficit to defeat the visiting Paramount Pirates, 53-51.
Both teams were tremendously sloppy handling the ball to start the game as the quick style of play led to a very defensive first quarter. At the end of the first quarter, the Pirates led, 18-7.
Jonathan Guzman led Paramount on an 8-0 run to start the second quarter, giving the Pirates a 26-7 lead. The tension of the intense game led to a bench-clearing conflict between the two teams. The brief scuffle led to ejections to Paramount’s Guzman and Dominguez’s junior guard Ja’Nathan Harris. The score at the half Paramount lead, 32-24.
Dominguez opened the third quarter with a 14-4 run of their own. Both teams fed off their crowd’s energy throughout the entire game. At the end of the third quarter, Dominguez led, 40-36.
Halfway through the fourth quarter, Dominguez big man, Khalif Perkins, suffered an injury to his leg, leaving the Dons without a center. Throughout the fourth, both teams changed leads, making the game even more intense. Down 49-47, Dons senior forward Evan Spells hit a clutch three pointer with under a minute remaining. With :40 seconds left, Russell Miller splits a pair of free throws to put Dominguez up 51-49. With :30 seconds remaining, Brenton Woods sinks a couple of free throws to put Dominguez up 53-49. In desperation, the Pirates found Jacob Fineanganofo for a two pointer. Unfortunately for the Pirates, the buzzer sounded and Dominguez earned a hard fought victory, led by Perkins with 17 points.
—- Aaron Sutton