JSerra boys basketball beats Bishop Montgomery in CIF-SS Division 1 quarterfinal thriller: 3 observations

TORRANCE — JSerra seniors Justin Williams and Ian Martinez each scored 21 points to lead the Lions to a 61-59 quarterfinal playoff win over Bishop Montgomery on Tuesday night. JSerra will now play Windward in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 semifinals on Friday.

Below are three observations from Tuesday’s game.


JSerra senior point guard Justin Williams was fantastic on Tuesday.

“Justin was unbelievable defensively,” JSerra head coach Keith Wilkinson said. “He hit the two big free throws and really carried us when Ian struggled a little bit in that third quarter. That kid didn’t want his season to end. He willed us to that win.”

Williams played calm, cool and collected all night long. He hit two free throws with 34 seconds left in the game to put the Lions ahead 60-59. When JSerra trailed 56-53 with 2:43 to play, Williams picked Jalen Vazquez’s pocket, got fouled on his layup attempt and made the two free throws. His work on both ends of the floor was critical.


At the half JSerra led 32-27, but Bishop Montgomery came roaring back in the third quarter. The Knights started out with a quick 9-0 run sparked by Oregon State signee Isaiah Johnson who finished the quarter with ten points. After three, JSerra trailed 47-45.

In the fourth, Ian Martinez hit a three pointer with 1:48 left that put JSerra ahead 58-56. Bishop Montgomery’s Bryan Mex answered with a three of his own to give the Knights’ the lead before Williams hit the two game-winning free throws.

Bishop Montgomery had a chance to take the lead on their penultimate possession, but failed to get off a clean look. Martinez was then fouled with 2.6 seconds left following the missed shot. He made one of two from the line and then a Bishop Montgomery heave was off the mark, which give the Lions the win.


At one point in the first half, Bishop Montgomery had seven fouls to JSerra’s zero. The Knights never made it into the bonus on Tuesday and were never fouled in the act of shooting.


In the Division 1 semifinals, no. 1 Windward will play no. 4 JSerra and no. 2 Riverside Poly will play no. 3 Damien. These should be two competitive games.

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