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A bit of Renaissance revenge

Basketball: Wildcats advance to SoCal Regional final with 75-59 win over league foe.

March 13, 2012|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com
(Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff…)

PASADENA — There was a different energy in the air than there has been all season for the Renaissance Academy boys' basketball team when it took on Ribet Academy.

It could have been that it was the semifinals of the CIF State Boys' Division V Championships Southern California Bracket tournament or that the second-seeded Fighting Frogs bested the Wildcats by one point earlier this season in Harbor League play.

In the end, Renaissance got revenge and the one that mattered most in a 75-59 victory at Pasadena City College's Hutto-Patterson gym Tuesday night.

"Every possession counted because in the last game we missed six free throws, had two crucial turnovers and we lost," said Renaissance Coach Sid Cooke, who wasn't his normal calm self, pacing back and forth in the final quarter. "I wasn't going to let us lose this one. …We wanted this more."

The victory took the sting out of Ribet's 57-56 Harbor League victory over the Wildcats (27-6) in February.

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"It feels great, especially beating them on the big stage and to go for the Southern California Regional [Championship game] now," Renaissance's Troy Fontanilla said. "It feels great."

The win puts the Wildcats in another rematch with fifth-seeded Village Christian in the Southern California Regional Championship game at Ontario's Colony High Saturday at 3 p.m. after Renaissance defeated the Crusaders, 60-44, in November.

Jessy Cantinol was key to the third-seeded Wildcats' victory. He finished with 15 points and seven rebounds, but his most vital contribution didn't show up on the stat sheet, as he got Ribet's standout center Idrissa Diallo, who fouled out with 3:39 remaining, into foul trouble.

Cantinol did it all while being in a world of foul trouble himself. He sat out most of the second quarter after picking up his second and third fouls with 7:21 and 2:30 to go in the first half, respectively.

The senior came back strong in the third quarter.

Renaissance was only up on Ribet (21-11) by two points, 35-33, three minutes into the third when Cantinol forced Diallo off the court with his third foul.

Cantinol made both of his free throws and the Wildcats took a seven-point lead, 40-33, on a jumper from Vince De Guzman, who finished with a team-high 18 points, and two more free throws from Cantinol.

"[Diallo] is a big dude and getting him out of the lane opened up the game for us and we were able to attack more without worrying about his shot-blocking ability," De Guzman said.

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