Markar Aghakanian was the bell cow for the St. Francis High boys’ basketball team, which outscored Salesian in three of four quarters in the title game of the 24th Annual Providence Paul Sutton Tip-Off Classic, and were 65-39 winners this past Saturday.
Aghakanian finished with a game-best 19 points, four steals and 11 rebounds as the Golden Knights (4-0) vaulted in front, 37-19, at the half before the Mustangs outscored St. Francis, 14-11, in the third quarter.
St. Francis responded with a 17-point fourth quarter, and allowed Salesian only six points.
Cristian Robles had 14 points, and James Crenshaw 11 points with 12 rebounds for the Mustangs (3-1).
In the semi-final on Friday, the Golden Knights were in a pickle as two of their guards fouled out late.
Kyle Leufroy, who was named the tourney MVP, made 15 of 16 free-throws and tallied 21 points, but Philip Little came off the bench and dropped six points with three steals as the Golden Knights escaped with a 61-55 win over Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies.
St. Francis held a six-point lead with less than six minutes left in the final quarter as the Unicorns’ Robert Dickerson (21 points) made a hoop, was fouled and hit the free throw.
In short order, the Golden Knights’ Evan Crawford (six points with six caroms) along with Michael Allen both fouled out.
When the Unicorns’ Benjamin Simpson canned a three-point shot, LACES moved ahead 52-50 with less than four minutes showing.
With slightly more than two minutes on the clock, St. Francis pulled ahead 54-52 as Leufroy converted two free throws.
Noah Willerford’s hoop after a steal by Jordan Lynch gave the Golden Knights a four-point lead.
In a match between Pacific League foes Burbank and Glendale, the Bulldogs earned a 43-38 decision in the third-place game of the Sutton Classic.
Burbank took command in the second half and led 21-19 early in the third quarter. The Bulldogs (2-2) scored nine straight points before the Nitros (1-3) finally got on the board with less than three minutes remaining in the quarter.
Glendale led 10-4 early in the opening quarter, and blanked the Bulldogs until late in the second quarter when Peter Wongsasitorn (11 points) scored.
The Nitros’ Vahe Aristakessian had 15 points, followed by Arada Zakarian with 14, while Burbank’s Sarkis Karian had 11 points and Andy Yanikyan 10.