MONROVIA, Calif. –Two Filipino hoop prodigies fell short in the second week of the California Interscholastic Federation Open Division tournament that features the state’s top teams in one of the top high school tournaments.
UCLA-bound Kobe Paras and Cathedral High School lost for the third time this year to high school hoops powerhouse Bishop Montgomery.
Paras scored 14 points and showed his defensive skills to help keep the game close before Bishop Montgomery pulled away for a 59-47 victory and advance to the semifinals.
“I’m just thankful that we can go up against teams as good as them,” said Paras. “I just feel bad we can up short. We did our best, we practiced our all, but it went down to the smallest things, rebounds and the details.”
Despite the loss, Paras met with dozens of Filipino fans after the game to celebrate a season’s worth of improvement.
“I’m still new here. I’m just glad I got to go with the pace of the game. I just hope if we go up against greater teams, we can focus and do better,” he said.
Across town in Corona, SMU-bound Fil-Am senior Sedrick Barefield and fourth-ranked Centennial High were upset by 12th-ranked Orange Lutheran, 78-73.
While both open divisions have ended for Paras and Barefield, they will now both regroup as they await for the seedings in another statewide high school playoff championship.