Gutierrez scores 29, BCHS makes use of large fourth quarter to rally previous Centennial, 69-63

Jan. 29—Trailing a lot of the first three quarters, Bakersfield Christian did simply sufficient to remain near Centennial in Saturday evening’s non-league boys basketball showdown, that includes two of the world’s greatest.

Within the remaining eight minutes, the Eagles lastly acquired over the hump.

Sparked by a 29-point efficiency by sophomore level guard Gabriel Gutierrez, and aided by an ill-advised technical foul, host BCHS held the Golden Hawks with out a area aim within the remaining 6:25 and earned a hard-fought 69-63 victory in entrance of a big, vocal crowd.

“It was necessary for our confidence to win a recreation like that down the stretch,” Bakersfield Christian coach Garrett Brown stated. “However for us, we have been in video games like this for the final 4 years. And we’re used to it.”

The Eagles’ victory snapped a 15-game profitable streak for Centennial (20-4), which hadn’t misplaced to a Kern County opponent since coach Stephon Carter’s debut throughout the COVID-abbreviated season within the spring of 2021, a stretch of 24 video games.

“Robust loss,” Carter stated. “(However) I informed the crew it actually would not damage us. We will nonetheless win our league. We play in environments like this all yr, so we ought to be used to this sort of recreation. However I really feel just like the final 3 or 4 minutes they sort of acquired tight on us and made some dangerous choices, and BCHS capitalized on that.”

Centennial led 58-51 coming into the ultimate quarter, however BCHS (17-7) opened with a flurry.

A driving layup by Gutierrez adopted by a 3-pointer by Bentley Waller trimmed the result in 58-56 because the momentum started to shift.

Golden Hawks senior Jay Jay Jones, who completed with a team-high 17 factors, scored off a pleasant spin transfer to construct his crew’s lead again to 4, however he celebrated a bit an excessive amount of and was assessed a technical foul by the sport’s officers with 6:22 to play

It was the final area aim Centennial made within the recreation, and the crew was held to simply three free throws the remainder of the best way.

Gutierrez made the following free throws after which hit a pull-up jumper from the free throw to tie the sport at 60-60 with 6:00 to play, the beginning of a 13-3 BCHS run to shut out the sport.

“Truthfully, I feel the technical was the turning level,” Carter stated “We have been chugging alongside, up six, up eight, up 10, however as soon as we acquired that technical it went from 4 to 2 to a tie recreation …”

After Golden Hawks standout Rippen Gill, final yr’s Southwest Yosemite League participant of the yr, was whistled for a touring name, BCHS took the lead for good, 62-60, on an inside basket by Louis Duarte.

Charlie Stump constructed Bakersfield Christian’s benefit to 64-60 with a rebound and rating, and Gutierrez, Duarte and Troy Lei every hit free throws within the remaining minute to increase the Eagles’ lead. Duarte additionally took an enormous cost on Gill as he drove to the basket with 34.7 seconds left and his crew trailing by two factors.

“I am simply pleased with my guys,” Brown stated. “We knew that offensive rebounding was going to be key for (Centennial) as a result of they’re large and so they’re bodily and athletic, so we simply needed to restrict their second-chance factors. And I believed we did a fairly good job of that tonight as a result of I felt like that was the one manner that they might beat us.”

Gutierrez made his first three pictures and assisted on a basket by Michael Shafic to offer the Eagles an early 8-5 lead, however the Golden Hawks regained management with a 9-0 run that included a robust, one-hand slam dunk by 6-foot-4 junior Donn Bolton, who completed with 10 factors.

However due to 26 mixed factors from Gutierrez and Waller, Bakersfield Christian stayed shut, trailing by not more than six factors, regardless of seven 3-pointers by Centennial within the first half. Each Gill (16 factors) and Elijah West (9 factors) completed the sport with three 3-pointers apiece.

“I felt good in warmups and I knew my shot was going to hit at this time,” Gutierrez stated. “The surroundings) was loopy, however this system is basically used to it, so it was actually nothing to us. I like video games like this, (and) I am simply completely satisfied we gained.”

Centennial threatened to tug away early within the third quarter and constructed it is result in 46-36 on a basket by Jones off an out-of-bounds play within the first 2 minutes of the second half. Jones had seven factors within the quarter, together with his second 3-pointer of the sport.

Gutierrez had eight factors within the quarter and Waller was 4-for-4 from the road to maintain issues shut, setting the stage for the Eagles’ fourth-quarter comeback.

“Gabe Gutierrez is particular,” Brown stated. “He is a particular, particular participant, a particular child, and I’ve him for the subsequent three years, in order that feels fairly good. He and Bentley have been actually good tonight attacking their guards and attending to the free throw line, stepping into the paint and making performs.”

Waller completed with 19 factors, together with a number of acrobatic scoring drives to the basket, however he aggravated a patellar tendon damage halfway by the fourth quarter and spent the rest of the sport on the bench with an ice pack on his knee.

“I informed Bentley, man, we do not win that recreation with out you,” stated Brown, who expects Waller to overlook just a few video games. “I do know he is a bit of down proper now, however God has him and he’ll be superb. He’ll get some relaxation and a few remedy and he’ll be able to go for the playoffs.”

The victory for BCHS was the crew’s twelfth in its final 13 video games, and the Eagles will take an 11-game league profitable streak into Tuesday’s residence recreation towards Ridgeview (16-6, 3-1). The Wolf Pack’s solely South Yosemite Valley League loss was to Bakersfield Christian, 61-54 two weeks in the past.

“For us, yah (this was) an enormous recreation, however it’s only a common season recreation,” Brown stated. “We play in entrance of crowds like that on a regular basis within the state playoffs, Valley playoffs, so for us, we knew we could not win a Valley championship tonight. We could not lose a Valley championship tonight, so it was simply one other common season recreation towards a extremely good crew. It is a recreation that Bakersfield has needed to see for 2 years … and we took care of enterprise.”

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